Like all Hoosier cities, Indianapolis is suffering both from the economic downturn and changes in tax structure dictated by the state. It's sruggling to keep parks and libraries open, police and firefighters paid, infrastructure from crumbling. So the Indiana Pacers decide now would be a good time to extort some money out of the city. The owners have informed Indianapolis' Capital Improvement Board that they want the city to pick up the $15 million a year cost of operating Conseco Fieldhouse, or else the team would "start searching for other solutions," in the words of President Jim Morris:
Morris did stress to the Indianapolis Star that "we do not want the team to move," but that's a typical sports owner non-threat threat, as we called it in the book. This is clearly a shot fired across Indianapolis' bow ...
Well, don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Of course, there's always a chance that state legislators can explain to me that the Pacers are so important to Indianapolis that the entire state would suffer if they left, at which point I'd naturally just open up my checkbook and ask, "How much?"