Pacers, City of Indianapolis reach long-term deal

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The Indiana Pacers have a new long-term deal to stay in Indianapolis and play at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

As Eyewitness News was first to report, the city's Capital Improvement Board, which runs the city's sports venues, will vote on the deal Monday.

Documents show the new agreement will likely keep the Pacers in Indianapolis through the 2027 season. It's a ten-year deal with three one-year extensions.

While fans will no doubt cheer the deal, it comes at a hefty price. Over the next 13 years the city will pay more $140 million alone to maintain and operate Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Pacers Sports & Entertainment, which brings scores of concerts and other events to the Fieldhouse, will create a separate entity called Fieldhouse Management to maintain the building.

Under the agreement, the CIB will pay the new management entity $7.1 million a year for operations.

The CIB will also pay vendors directly for things like utilities, security and off-site storage. That cost? $3.7 million a year bringing the total to nearly $11 million a year.

The deal also calls for $26.5 million for capital improvements to the Fieldhouse, including upgrades to locker rooms, concessions and LED boards, plus another $7 million for items that need to be replaced, like carpeting.

Under the deal, it looks the city will also foot the bill for the $16 million state-of-the-art scoreboard the Pacers unveiled two years ago. At the time, Pacers Sports & Entertainment President Jim Morris said they were paying for it.

Morris told Eyewitness News in August of 2012, "Almost you have no choice but to do this to keep the building competitive, to keep the fan experience exciting."

The agreement calls for CIB to "license the scoreboard and sound system with fees spread evenly thru the term of the new agreement" with the CIB "taking title" at the end of the term.

The contract requires the Pacers to provide revenue and expense updates quarterly at CIB meetings.

It also gives the Pacers an out should they have certain operating losses and should Herb Simon sell the team, it gives the city first right of refusal to buy it.

When asked for comments on the deal, a Pacers spokesman referred Eyewitness News to a CIB spokesman who had not responded as of 6:30 Thursday night.