The Story Behind The Pacers’ $800 Million Deal

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Photo Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

*This piece first appeared in the Front Office Sports Newsletter. Subscribe today and get the news before anyone else. 

The Indiana Pacers are staying in Indianapolis for the foreseeable future.

According to Chris Sikich of the Indianapolis Star, the team and city agreed to a 25-year deal that commits around $800 million in public funding to keep the team in town.

What do you need to know?

1. The Marion County Capital Improvement Board, which owns or manages the city’s professional sports stadiums, voted unanimously in favor of the deal.

2.  Thanks to the deal, the Pacers will play in Indianapolis through the 2043-44 NBA season, with options to extend it another three years.

3.  If the Pacers were to skip town early, they would have to pay as much as $750 million to the city.

4. The $800 million in public funds would come from a mix of local and state sales and income taxes that are collected on auto rentals, hotels and other amenities in some proximity to the Fieldhouse.

What do you get for $800 million? 

– $295 million – Upgrades to Bankers Life Fieldhouse

– $362 million – Money set aside to operate the building over the course of the next 25 years

– $120 million – Money set aside to make technology upgrades over the course of the next 10 years

– $17.6 million – Money set aside for maintenance

– $4.6 million – Money set aside for improvements to the video and sound system

As for the upgrades…

Along with the $295 million allocated by the government, the team will add an additional $65 million on top of that to bring the total for renovations and upgrades to $360 million. For comparison’s sake, the Fieldhouse only cost $183 million to originally build, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.

All the money for upgrades will go toward the creation of a public plaza near the Fieldhouse, the addition of more public areas inside the venue, the creation of horseshoe-shaped gathering places, new observation decks and enhanced suite areas.