Updated: Wednesday, 30 Jun 2010, 6:28 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 30 Jun 2010, 12:26 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - "Not there yet". That’s the word tonight as the Pacers and the Capitol Improvement Board try and hammer out a new lease for Conseco Fieldhouse. Wednesday was the Pacers' self-imposed deadline for a deal with the CIB.
But its likely, even if there is no deal Wednesday, the Pacers won't be leaving town anytime soon. It would likely cost the team tens of millions to leave.
Paul Okeson, a Capitol Improvement Board member is involved in the Pacers negotiations. Discussions says they have been productive.
"It's a very complex set of issues and its very difficult economic times to try and come up with the kind of relief that they think they need."
That relief is between $15 and $18 million a year, what the Pacers say is the cost to them of running Conseco Fieldhouse.
Gary Welsh, an Indianapolis Attorney who has blogged at length at Advance Indiana blog spot, against the CIB giving a new deal to the Pacers says there's a penalty clause in the current lease that would make it tough for the Pacers to pack up and leave town. He says he's seen the lease and the penalty is in the tens of millions.
"Where people differ is how much the penalty would be. Is it $50 million, is it as high as $150 million or somewhere in between."
Welsh says even if the Pacers could find a city that wanted them, the penalty might make a deal impossible to get done.
Larry DeGaris, spends a lot of time studying professional sports as an Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Indianapolis. He agrees there isn't much demand for NBA teams right now, but he says the loss of the Pacers might mean shuttering Conseco Fieldhouse.
"It would be much worse off than they have it now, so it would be dormant. I wouldn't see any other alternative if the Pacers and the Fever leave. I don't see any other alternative than shuttering the building and boarding it up."
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