Hall of Fame
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Sugar Land, Texas
Rep Power: 6671
Colts Stadium Funding Falls Through
Bosma blocks stadium funding plan
By Mary Beth Schneider
January 20, 2005
Financing plans for a new Indianapolis Colts stadium are in trouble, as House Speaker Brian Bosma said plans to expand gambling to pay for it are "dead."
Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson has said the city needs $46 million annually for 30 years to pay off bonds that would finance a new retractable-dome stadium for the NFL team.
That money would come in part from slot-like machines possibly in Downtown Indianapolis.
"The message I'd like to send to the mayor is he ought to find another financing mechanism for a Dome downtown than putting a casino in the middle of the most family-friendly city in the Midwest," Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said. "As far as I'm concerned, that proposal is dead."
Bosma said he is willing to work with Peterson on finding a different funding mechanism. Peterson has said he is open to other ideas, as long as the bottom line is $46 million.
Bosma said Peterson "can look for other measures to make this happen and we'll try to help him in that regard. But I feel it is very irresponsible for the future of the state of our city to propose putting a major casino within 150 yards of the Statehouse, hooked up by tunnel to the Statehouse. He needs to look elsewhere."
Bosma also indicated that he thinks the planned new stadium may be too extravagant.
"I'm not sure that we have to have the most expensive dome in the country," he said. "The last dome that was built was built for $77 million. This one is something like $600 million. The last dome that was built had one-third private participation from private foundations. This one I hear no participation whatsoever. There's been no discussion by the mayor with other leaders about a regional solution here. I find the whole proposal at this point fairly irresponsible."
Peterson and Colts owner Jim Irsay last month announced a deal for the stadium, which could open by fall 2008 and cost between $550 million and $700 million to build.
The stadium is seen as essential to the city keeping the Colts, whose current home, the RCA Dome, is the NFL's smallest. The plan calls for a 63,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof that could be expanded to 70,000 seats to host a Super Bowl.
House Minority Leader Pat Bauer, D-South Bend, said today another plan could be determined.
"I think there's alternatives," Bauer said. "We have to find another horse to ride."
Senate Republican leaders have blocked similar pull-tab machine proposals in the past.
California here we come!
.. and then?
"We have to find another horse to ride"
ba da bump <rim shot>
Thank you, Bauer will be here all weekend. Don't forget to tip your waitress.
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