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Report: City, Pacers discuss longer deal

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Pacers and the city are working out a deal that could keep the team here for decades, according to a new report from

The report says the Pacers are discussing the long-term deal with the city, state and Capitol Improvement Board. The CIB agreed in 2014 to pay tens of millions of dollars in operational costs to keep the Pacers until 2024. 

“They’re trying to have a new deal in place before the current deal expires,” author Abdul-Hakim Shabazz said. 

Shabazz, who is also a contributor to WISH-TV’s radio partner WIBC, said his sources tell him a new deal could last until 2044 if the city, state and CIB can cover operational costs, which could run around $25 million per year. 

“And then there’s talk about some improvements to Bankers Life to keep it up to speed and up to snuff,” Shabazz said. 

How would the city, state and CIB pay for it? 

Shabazz said they could tap into dollars from food and beverage taxes, hotel and rental car taxes, or a downtown tax-incremement financing district.

“There are a number of different ways to do it. No one has said to me that there would be any sort of general tax increase,” Shabazz said. 

According to Shabazz, the details are not set in stone and the negotiations are ongoing. 

“I just think that, because of all the value they’re bringing to the city, the city should give them some incentive or some value to bring them and keep them here,” season ticket holder Brian Goeckel said. 

Indianapolis resident Chase Blackburn said, “I don’t think that (the city) should necessarily pay for all of it. If they could meet somewhere in the middle, I think it would be beneficial for both sides to keep them here.” 

Shabazz said he expects a more concrete plan to be in place this spring. He said the plan may require some legislative action at the Statehouse. 

News 8 reached out to the city, the CIB and the Pacers for more details and we have not heard back.