The Indiana Pacers met with the Capital Improvement Board (CIB) today to discuss a deal to transfer some of the operating costs for Conseco Fieldhouse to the CIB.
Despite initial reports highlighting that no deal was reached, this is still a good thing. The stories from WTHR and Indy Star seem to focus on the June 30 deadline Jim Morris mentioned a couple of months ago and that after one day of negotiations there was no deal to report. To me, the actions today beat the deadline and with both side working toward a deal, completing that deal now is more important than patching together an agreement before the end of the month.
If both sides are engaged in good-faith negotiations and working toward a deal, the Pacers aren't going to quit and cause problems just because they don't finish before June 30th. The vibe from both sides seems to indicate a deal will eventually be reached. That's the bottom line for the Pacers. Maybe extending the negotiations past June 30th will save a little political face locally for the CIB.
This report from WIBC seems pretty positive.
CIB President Ann Lathrop says negotiations with the team are ongoing.
Lathrop adds that the city wants to keep the $55 million a year that the Pacers bring to Indianapolis. That number was figured by a recent study that estimates the city would lose $18 million a year if the Pacers were to leave.
The CIB says they had a great April, thanks in part to the Final Four. The fact that the CIB is in a better financial position could play a factor in striking a deal with the Pacers.
The best part of all of these reports is that the Pacers remained mum on the topic. Hopefully that will be the case until they announce the agreement. I'm sure there will be plenty more on this in the morning.