Indianapolis officials and the Indiana Pacers signed a deal on Friday to keep the basketball team in the city for the next 25 years. The agreement includes $360 million in renovations for Bankers Life Fieldhouse, which would fund the construction of an outdoor public plaza on the building's north side.
Of that $360 million, $270 million will come from the state and the Capital Improvement Board, $65 million will come from the Pacers, and $25 million will come from the city.
The deal includes no new taxes or fees, which the mayor’s chief of staff Thomas Cook says was a priority for the city.
“The strength of our local economy, and certainly of our downtown convention sports entertainment businesses, put us in a position to really do something pretty unique," Cook says, "which is not only strike a long-term deal with the Indiana Pacers to keep them here in the state, but also to do so in a way that doesn't ask residents and taxpayers to pay any more out of their pocket than they already are.”
The signed agreement is the first step of many that need to happen. Pending state legislation would provide crucial funding, and the deal will need votes of approval from a number of city and state agencies in the next few months.
The agreement calls for all those approvals to be done by the end of the summer.
Cook says the city is hopeful that the exclusion of added taxes will encourage bipartisan support. In a statement sent after the announcement, Mayor Joe Hogsett said the same.
"Over the coming weeks, it is my hope that the spirit of collaboration exhibited today will carry forward into bipartisan support for this agreement at the state and local level," Hogsett says.