Mayor ends stadium stalemate

The Colts Business Alliance issued the following press release, providing great news for Colts fans. As a result of this move, the state takes over the stadium project with the goal of having the new facility ready by August 1, 2008.

INDIANAPOLIS – With seven days left in the legislative session, Mayor Bart Peterson said today that the City of Indianapolis will break the logjam between the city and state officials by turning over the financing, construction and design of the new stadium and convention center expansion to the State of Indiana.

When Gov. Mitch Daniels proposed using a regional food & beverage tax as a funding source for the stadium, he also said the state must control the project.

Although Peterson has offered compromises – which were endorsed by the Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis Business Journal and the Indianapolis Recorder – to ensure state oversight of the project, with seven days left, there has been little legislative movement.

"The Governor's proposal to take control of the stadium construction was a bolt out of the blue," Mayor Peterson said. "It didn't make much sense to me then, and I still don't agree with it now.

But this project – and the thousands of jobs and the $2.25 billion of economic benefit to Indianapolis – is too important to Indianapolis to let the project remain at a standstill. I need to set aside my preferences and do what's best for this project and what's right for our city."

The Mayor's announcement today would satisfy Gov. Daniels' demands that the project be state-controlled. It also moves forward the project that will keep the Indianapolis Colts for 30 years, keep NCAA Final Fours, create 4,200 permanent jobs, pump $2.25 billion into the economy, and strengthen Indianapolis as one of the top convention destinations in America.

Details of Mayor's announcement

As a result of the mayor's announcement:

*The State would control the finance, design and construction of the new stadium and convention center expansion;

*Financing will be controlled by the State through the Indiana Bond Bank, with the selection of any and all professionals for the financing by the State through the Indiana Public Finance Office;

*The CIB would enter into an interest rate hedge agreement to lock in interest rates, which would be competitively bid, and subject to the approval of the Indiana Public Finance Office;

*Contracts for the project would be awarded by a non-political selection process, using a five-member "selection committee," with two appointees by the governor, two appointees by the mayor, and a fifth member mutually selected by the mayor and the governor, who would also serve as executive director of the state-controlled stadium building authority;

*Appropriate participation of minority- and women-owned businesses would be ensured, which are, 20 percent for minority-owned businesses and eight percent for women-owned businesses,
consistent with former-Mayor Steve Goldsmith's model for Conseco Fieldhouse and the city's minority- and women-owned business goals.

*The project would be guaranteed on-time and on-budget from a labor standpoint by use of a project labor agreement, such as the one Mayor Goldsmith used to build Conseco Fieldhouse;

*The Marion County Capital Improvement Board (CIB) would operate the facilities upon completion;

*The CIB would assign any land acquired by the city for the project to the State, as well as any existing contracts, and the State would reimburse the city for these costs, to the extent they have already been budgeted for the project;

*The CIB is responsible for completing the new lease with the Indianapolis Colts, consistent with the existing memorandum of understanding with the Colts, and for all other matters involving tenants of its properties;

*To help ensure integration and continuity for the project, the CIB will, at its expense, have a staff member or consultant serve as the CIB's representative to the project; and

*As is customary with projects of this type and Bond Bank financing, the CIB would receive the newly authorized revenues and use those revenues, together with existing CIB resources, to pay all debt service to meet the agreed project budget and to pay operations and maintenance for the project.

"This is not my first or my favorite choice," Peterson said. "This is a dramatic change in the way the city and state have done business for 30 years.

"But we have only one week left to get this moving. If turning over control of the project means getting it completed, then this is the right thing to do, for the project and our city."

. The project is currently on-time and on-budget for a completion date of August 1, 2008 for the stadium and 2010 for the convention center expansion. However, Gov. Daniels made it clear that the State can complete the project on-time and on-budget.

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