Racist Star photo, Sam Riche
WELL, the good news is that our new public-funded, privately-controlled football palace is no longer 1/4 under water, and is expected to have elevator service, not to mention a new data room, in time for season ticket holders to gawk at their surroundings while attending the first of a slough of meaningless preseason "contests" the NFL forces them to attend at full price for the privilege. The mishap(s)--it flooded a second time when the initial temporary repair failed--was instructive to the extent that it provided a rough estimate of the number of people who think "you have to expect problems with any new construction" is a valid argument, but "you get to bitch when they happen on your dime" is not.
Then they let The Media tour the safer parts of the structure, and the above photo hit the breeze, and it was instructive to the extent that I had no idea there was anyone who'd argue that a retractable roof requires 200 seats, minimum, be located behind a post, which furthermore is just Basic Physics and anyone who doesn't understand it must have been educated by IPS. But, as it turns out, there are. And the Colts then announced that those seats weren't part of the season ticket package, and they'd be sold only once every other ticket was gone, and they'd be clearly marked "obstructed", and they'd only be sold to people who really, really wanted to see the game or had to use the bathroom real bad. And, besides, what did you expect for $750 million?
Now this was instructive, in the Marie Antoinette sense, which is why I made it up. But I didn't make up the $750 million thing, which the Racist Star keeps reporting off-handedly, despite the fact that when the project began, 22 months ago, it was a $500 million stadium. If there's someone out there at the moment explaining that anyone who doesn't expect a 50% cost overrun on any new construction, as well as three-feet of water in the control center, must live in a cave, or in Russia, I haven't seen 'em yet. My suspicion is I just need to try harder.
We have a new airport terminal going on-line, too (oh, those heady, spendthrift days of the Early Naughts!), which has caused the local teleprompter readers to take a break from gushing (sorry) about the new stadium to gush about the recent awarding of airport food establishment contracts. No, really. Gush. They were, like, running down menus an' stuff. This is why I tell anyone who asks I'm from Kentucky.
There was a minor flapdoodle about the place when a group of citizens who've been pressing the Airport Authority since 1979 to change the name back from the breathtaking, but fittingly hallucinatory Indianapolis International Airport (there's one direct flight to Winnipeg each month, I think) to Weir Cook grabbed themselves some spotlight. Now, I like Weir Cook; that's the name it had all through my youth, and it's 80% Weird, not to mention (again) the silly pomposity of that International business. But then it turned out that the group was really just a bunch of military jock sniffers pawing the corpse of WWI flying ace (which I knew), whose seven kills included four balloons, which I didn't. Somehow, perhaps in retrospect, true, this seems less like the dashing, chivalrous Cavalry of the Air of the Great War, and more like somebody going berserk at a carnival. Anyway, he's getting an access road and a snack bar named in his honor, so all is well, and the honored dead can rest easy again.
But in the meantime, Accidental Mayor Greg "Simpkins" Ballard gets to ascend to the podium and deliver strings of platitudes about what the new terminal means for International Business and The City's Reputation, in that order, both of which might be further advanced if someone could teach him it's not pronounced "inner-Nash-null". Though, really, it's just a small taste of what we truly deserve.