Friday, September 23, 2011

First Signs of a Possible "Were the CIB/Simon Bailouts Worth It?" Experiment: NBA Cancels Two Pacers Preseason Home Games

IBJ and other sources are reporting Friday that the NBA has decided to cancel a total of 43 preseason games,including two games scheduled to be played here in Indianapolis.  The absence of these games will not be enough to find out the Pacers' revenue impact on the city over the course of a year or more. It is, though, yet another sign that we may get to find out whether the CIB's bailout of the billionaire Simons, and the city's earlier bailout of the now cash-heavy CIB were worth it.

Should the cancellation of games continue beyond the preseason, perhaps to include the entire season, then the impact, or lack of impact, of the Pacers on Indianapolis will become measurable.  There will be no more guesswork involved; we will be able to see exactly what the effect is on downtown businesses, employment, and tax revenue if the Pacers were suddenly no longer around.

Admittedly, even if the entire NBA season were to be cancelled, it would not be a long enough sample to know the true level of importance of the Pacers to the city.  The effect of professional sports teams, whether gaining them or losing them, take years to truly manifest themselves.

It would be an interesting experiment, though, to see how many employers, employees, and government bean-counters really even notice the impact of a year without the Pacers.  I'm by no means begging for it, I'm just curious of the results.

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