The Colts released the following statement regarding a proposal to fund the Capital Improvement Board's $47 million budget shortfall:
"The Indianapolis Colts understand and are concerned about the current CIB funding shortfall as well as the financial difficulties faced by our friends at the Indiana Pacers. We understand all too well the current economic atmosphere has made operating in this climate very difficult as we have had to make cuts ourselves.
We know the work of the Indiana General Assembly is always difficult and solving problems like the shortfall facing the CIB will be made more difficult because of the current economic climate. The Indianapolis Colts will remain engaged with Senator Kenley and the leadership of all four of the House and Senate caucuses in seeking to find an appropriate solution to this situation.
Nevertheless, the work can only be effective if people are dealing with accurate information. Thus, we feel it is critical that several misperceptions and inaccuracies about our contract with the CIB be dispelled.
Contrary to reports in today's Indianapolis Star, the Indianapolis Colts have a significant financial investment of more than $100 million in the building of Lucas Oil Stadium, together with annual lease payments to the CIB of $250,000.00, and expense reimbursements to the CIB (which are currently in the neighborhood of $800,000 to $1,000,000 per year) throughout the life of our current contract with the City. We pay those substantial sums for the right to use Lucas Oil Stadium no more than 19 days a year. There are many other significant financial sacrifices and commitments the team has made and will continue to make as we try every season to field a championship caliber team worthy of our fans, while living within the means dictated by our smaller market. In short, contrary to the Star's inaccurate report, we've already contributed a tremendous amount of money to the construction and operation of Lucas Oil Stadium and we're contractually obligated to continue to do so for at least the next 26 years.
We remain optimistic that when all the facts and possible avenues to resolution are on the table, and considered in context, good people working together in good faith will be able to fashion a solution that's fair and effective. We remain willing to continue our dialogue with the leaders of the General Assembly, within our own operational constraints and consistent with our principal commitment to field the best team possible-a team this City and this State can continue to be proud of both on and off the field."