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Indianapolis Indians Sign New 20-Year Lease On Victory Field

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Indianapolis Indians
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The Indianapolis Indians have signed a new 20-year lease on Victory Field.

The new lease is similar to the team's first 20-year lease that expires in March, but Capital Improvement Board Executive Director Barney Levengood says it took about five months of negotiations to reach agreement on who would be responsible for what repair and maintenance costs.

“Whenever you divide up responsibilities, it does take some time to get that done,” Levengood says.

The Indians plan to replace Victory Field's scoreboard and sound system, and renovate the ballpark's 30 suites. The CIB has agreed to finance up to $6 million of an expected $9 million price tag for those projects. The Class AAA affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates will pay no rent for the stadium and will keep all ballpark revenues.

Levengood says the team is a key part of downtown, drawing 11 million fans since the park opened in 1996, including a record 662,000 this year.

He says the lease transfers ownership of the stadium to White River State Park.

“That’s really a technicality,” Levengood says. “I think the way the ballpark is operated, the way the Indians have operated it and what you’ve seen will not change whatsoever. It’s just an issue as it relates to the paper behind the whole deal.”

As of June, the stadium is fully paid for. The commission is expected to give final approval to the lease on Wednesday.

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