But get this -- it has absolutely nothing to do with their $10 million gift to the Pacers organization ! Quack, quack, quack.
The Capital Improvement Board’s 2011 operating budget is projected to increase by $10 million over this year's budget—the same amount the organization initially will provide to the Indiana Pacers under a new funding agreement reached last month.
But CIB President Ann Lathrop insists funding for the Pacers to help operate Conseco Fieldhouse, which totals $30 million over the next three years, is not the only reason for the larger, $73.1 million operating budget.
Okay, I know I'm not an accountant, but I did major in Math in College, so... If the CIB never gave away the $10 million to the Pacers, and they never agreed to $3.5 million in improvements to the Conseco Fieldhouse, wouldn't the CIB budget drop by $3.5 million in 2011?
Olsen highlights several expenditures in the new budget:
Higher-than-expected costs to operate Lucas Oil Stadium have helped put the CIB in a financial bind. The 2011 operating budget allocates $3.5 million, the same amount as this year, to the Indianapolis Colts for a share of revenue from stadium events. Another $1.6 million—$100,000 more than this year—will be given to the team to reimburse it for game-day expenses.
Other highlights of the 2011 budget include $300,000 in funding for the Arts Council of Indianapolis, which formerly received as much as $1 million annually, and $300,000 to support local tourism efforts.
I have uneasy, mixed feelings about Olsen's disclosure that the $8 million of taxpayer money that the CIB would normally hand over to the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, "will not come from CIB revenue but from downtown-development funds". Hold on to your hats, er, wallets, folks. The CIB budget is going up by $10 million AND $8 million will come from 'downtown-development funds'. That adds up to an increase of $18 million for the tourist trade. But, contrary to Lathrop's assertions, I still think $10 million of that is the gift to the Pacers.