Monday, November 06, 2006

Stadium / Convention Center: more (bad) news

More on the new stadium and the convention center expansion. The ten Colts home games a year won't ever generate enough revenue to recoup the city's investment in the new stadium. So one of the ways in which this was sold to the city is that the plan also includes an expansion for the convention center downtown. It was just announced last week that, less than halfway through the construction of the stadium, the contingency fund is down from $90 million to $15.1 million. And if they spend the contingency fund down completely, their bigger "contingency fund" is the $275 million set aside for the convention center. The funding was approved for both projects from the same budget, so officials aren't ruling out raiding the convention center fund to finish building the stadium. Preliminary announcements are making it sound like the new convention center may be quite a bit smaller in scope than originally promised.

I also feel the need to mention that the $90 million contingency fund went immediately to $50 million, because the city used the fund to cover a $40 million debt to the Colts. Wha? I can't find any details about why we owe Jim Irsay $40 million at the beginning of this project. But I'm wildly curious.

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