City, Pacers Approve Arena Lease
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ The Indiana Pacers and city officials agreed Wednesday to a 20-year lease on the new $175 million Indiana Fieldhouse.
The deal, which starts in 1999, requires the team to pay off construction bonds and up to $50 million in damages if the Pacers leave Indianapolis before the lease is up.
``We’ve made a provision that at the worst we end up with a first-rate facility that’s debt-free,″ said James Snyder, who negotiated the deal on behalf of Mayor Stephen Goldsmith.
Goldsmith said he was pleased with the deal. ``We’ve negotiated what we think is the most prudent transaction,″ he said.
The new lease says Pacers owners Melvin and Herb Simon would have to give the city a chance to buy the team before trying to move it out of town. And no move would be allowed unless the team loses $2 million a year in consecutive years and has a projected loss of the same amount for a third consecutive year.
The Pacers will pay the city Capital Improvement Board a dollar a year to lease the arena and $3.4 million a year for reserved parking. The parking money would be credited against the Simons’ $57 million share of the project’s cost.
In exchange, the Pacers get exclusive use of the arena and all revenue from advertising, concessions and sale of naming rights.
The arena would be available for concerts and other events that don’t conflict with the Pacers’ schedule. The lease also would allow the Indiana Sports Corp. at least 12 days to run amateur athletic events.