Mark Alesia Indianapolis Star Published 10:00 p.m. UTC Aug 17, 2018 Lucas Oil Stadium opened 10 years ago to the applause of people who love the Indianapolis Colts and believe in the city’s decades-old strategy to use sports to spur economic growth. Critics scoffed, however, at the billions of dollars in public money that a small-market city must spend to keep a professional sports team and sway its rich owner. This story isn’t a doctoral dissertation on whether the tax money Indianapolis has invested in sports was worth it. So much of what the city spends to attract sports events and conventions is hidden from public view. It’s not that taxpayers are necessarily getting a bad deal. It’s that the public doesn’t know exactly what the deal is. Sports economists generally say that public subsidies for sports don’t pay off for taxpayers. And economic impact reports can be skewed toward whoever commissioned the report. On the other side of the assessment, every benefit of the Colts can’t be quantified. What is it worth to have Indianapolis as an “NFL city,” which might help attract a talented worker to Eli Lilly & Co. or a convention to town? What is it worth to have something a community, or… Read full this story
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