It's been awhile since the Pacers had some favorable financial news lean their way. Actually, I'm not sure the team's ever had favorable financial news to report. Well, maybe the day they dumped Jermaine O'Neal's $23 million dollar salary, but this has a far broader impact.
The Hunden Strategic Group delivered its report (full report link) on the local impact of the Indiana Pacers to the Capital Improvement Board (CIB) today. The bottom line summary from the report indicates that losing the Pacers (and Fever) would result in:
- $55 million net loss of economic activity for Indianapolis
- $17.8 million cost continue maintaining Conseco Fieldhouse
- 909 lost full-time jobs
These numbers and the report itself will be easy to debate and scrutinize but at we have some numbers to work with now. The report also gives the CIB some backing for any deal they can strke with the Pacers. This quote in the IBJ report from CIB President Ann Lathrop is the real good news for anyone hoping the city and Pacers can work out a deal.
Lathrop declined to divulge how contract negotiations are proceeding, but she expects Hunden’s findings could help justify keeping the team in the city.
“I feel like the study is very important,” she said. “This allows us to have a benchmark relating to the true economic impact" of the Pacers.
The cash-strapped CIB didn't pay for the $30,000 study, she said. Instead, she said the Indianapolis Bond Bank picked up the tab because “the health of downtown is critical to the overall debt” of the city.