05 Jan 2005
The new Colts' stadium has fans feeling good right now, but will that last if the team stops winning? Some bad signs: Immediately after the mayor announced his plan, the often-quoted price tag of $500 million grew to $687.5 million. Radley Balko writes, "In order for the city of Indianapolis to build a new stadium for the Colts, it will need to tear down the RCA Dome. That will require the city to break the lease it signed with the Colts on the dome. According to the language in the lease, the city will be required to pay the Colts $48 million to break the lease, even though the city's breaking it solely to build the new stadium the Colts demanded! More galling yet, the Irsays typically include the $48 million in the amount they say they're ponying up to help pay for the stadium. In the end, Indiana taxpayers will underwrite 90% of the costs of the new stadium." Meanwhile, the city's firefighter and police pensions are woefully underfunded. Hat tip: Paul Noonan.
Our offseason Four Downs series ends with a look at the NFC West's biggest remaining holes and their most notable UDFA signings. The Rams and 49ers have to kick-start their passing games, Arizona's offense lacks a big dimension, and the Seahawks continue to rely on Russell Wilson's magic tricks.