Steven Malanga wasn't writing (specifically) about Indianapolis in his "Cross Country" column in today's Wall Street Journal, but this Indianapolis Observer thinks it rings true.
"The surest sign that taxpayers should be leery of such public investments is that officials have changed their sales pitch. Conventions and meeting centers shouldn't be judged . . . by how many hotel rooms, restaurants and local attractions they help fill."
The "new metric -- a city's amorphous brand value - is little more than a convenient way to ignore the failure of publicly sponsored facilities to live up to exaggerated projections. But as far as city officials are concerned, that failure is nothng that hundreds of millions more in taxpayer dollars can't fix."
Why do the (Bankers Life) Fieldhouse, (Lucas Oil) Stadium and Georgia Street come readily to mind?