Another tax-funded stadium

The Indy Eleven have proposed a new stadium for $550 million. For comparison, Lucas Oil Stadium cost about $750 million.

Mickey Shuey at the IBJ has more:

Developer-backed bonds would be issued to pay for the stadium, which is estimated to cost $150 million. Tax overlays on revenue generated by the rest of the development, which would be funded with $400 million in private investment, would be expected to cover payments on the bonds..

The city would issue the bonds for the stadium and other public parts of the development (including parking and the plaza area) with the understanding that the team would cover any shortfalls. Developer-backed bonds have become a favored tool of Mayor Joe Hogsett’s administration to help pay for major real estate projects.

By now everyone knows the promises of new stadium development rarely come back to benefit the taxpayers for what municipalities pay. What makes this different is Indy Eleven is proposing a park, apartments, office space, and more amenities to go along with it. A clever idea, but I can’t help but feel they’re trying to buy affection, attention, or protection if things go bad. Maybe all three.

If this gets along further, the Council and Legislature will have to vote for it. I’m not sure how the Legislature would vote. But I know my gut reaction to this now is to vote “no”. Private operations should remain private, with only basic funding from cities for things like road and traffic improvements and water or sewer upgrades.

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Justin Harter for District 12