No Lessons Learned from Litebox

Remember the embarrassing Litebox episode? The City and State were offering incentives to “entrepreneurs” who turned out to be little more than con men. The President had a string of liens and unpaid bills, and people knowledgable about the industry said the business plan displayed a lack of understanding of the manufacturing process.

At the time the Lightbox fiasco was uncovered, critics noted that a cursory Google search would have uncovered the problems.

Fast forward to Cricket.

Mayor Ballard is obviously enamored with the idea that Indianapolis will be a Cricket venue–so enamored, in fact, that he prefers to fund Cricket fields rather than the additional police the city so desperately needs. He has ignored bipartisan concerns of the City-County Council, and is moving forward, with an announcement that Indianapolis will host the next three national Cricket Championships.

So what does a cursory Google search tell us about the USA Cricket Association and support for cricket generally? Well, theĀ USACA has no scheduled domestic tournaments for 2013 and has not held a 50-over national championship since 2010. Despite Ballard’s rosy predictions of large turnouts,

“Poor spectator turnout for domestic events has been a routine problem for tournaments staged in Lauderhill, Florida at the $70 million Central Broward Regional Park. After opening in 2008, USACA held their Men’s 50-over National Championship at the 5000 seat stadium in Florida in 2009 and 2010, during which not more than a few dozen people attended. Roughly the same amount of spectators turned out this March for the 2013 ICC Americas Division One Twenty20 tournament, which USA won 8-0 to clinch a spot at the 2013 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier. None of the matches were broadcast on TV or radio.

“Not one of those events puts anybody in the stands,” said Lauderhill Mayor Richard J Kaplan in an interview with ESPNcricinfo in April. “It doesn’t sell one ticket. I don’t need a multi-million dollar stadium with 5000 permanent seats to sit there with nobody using it.”

Other information readily available through a Google search includes lawsuits against the USACA by California and other regional members, and sanctions from the International body.

Now, maybe all of these problems have been resolved. Maybe they haven’t. I’d feel a whole lot better if I thought anyone in the Administration had taken the time to investigate.

Or even just Google.


  1. Well, at least we are “ONLY” spending $6 mil. But since these entrepreneurs convinced Broward to spend $70 million (SEVENTY MILLION DOLLARS!) how much will the city “kick in” to make sure the tournament isn’t an embarrassment? Litebox is beginning to look legit. Oh, and I am only weeks away from receiving my purpose built in Indiana police car.

  2. The elections of Pence, Ballard, also shine a bright light on just how pathetic the Indiana Democratic Party leadership is. It rests at the feet of Evan Bayh and a party that seems to believe in nothing. Don’t misunderstand, I am an Indiana Democrat, my favorite political quotation remains “I am a member of no organized political party, I am a Democrat.” – Will Rogers. But I am so frustrated by the lack of courage of party leadership to be outraged, to stand for SOMETHING, win or lose.

  3. Hey Sheila. Whats it like waking up every morning knowing your going to hate everything that you see,smell or touch.This cricket idea is Ballard’s wildest scam, its all about money for his buddies at the construction companies

  4. One person’s hate is another’s enlightenment. You must admit Ballard moved faster on this cricket idea than anything else since taking over the 25th floor. And the attendance records from other cities will be a good excuse not to increase the public safety force here to control the crowds. Do you know of anything this Administration has taken the time to investigage? Other than the Colts schedule.

  5. Stan:

    It is interesting how two democrats see things so differently. I, too, put things at the feet of Evan Bayh and Frank O’Bannon and Joe Kernan and Kathy Davis and Pam Carter and Jeff Modisett and Karen Freeman-Wilson and John Gregg and Ann Delaney and many other solid hard working democrats who led the party out of 20 years of wandering in the wilderness to 16 years in the state house and 12 years in the senate. I do not believe that running for public office, winning the race, and serving your term(s) implies that one must serve more terms than she wants to serve. I think Pam Carter served us well and her return to the private sector was her choice. I think Jeff Modisett’s victory in a Marion County prosecuting attorney race decided by 287 votes was a huge boost to Marion County democrats. I think his victory as the Indiana AG helped us a lot; and I fully supported his decision to return to the private sector when he chose to do so. I am thrilled with Joe Kernan’s decision to return to the private sector and buy the local farm team and have some fun. I do not think that Judy O’Bannon is obligated to run for anything-she has served us well. I think Kathy Davis’ return to the private sector was not a selfish call – besides it being her right, some of the brilliant thigs she is doing will be to our benefit. And I think that Evan Bayh’s 24 plus years in public service to Indiana is way more than most ever give, so I applaud his decision to return to the private sector and to a couple young men who just might need some Hoosier sense at this stage of their lives. I lay the current nadir of the party at the feet of the hundreds of thousands of our party who voted in 2008 and didn’t vote in 2010 or 2012 .
    So you see we disagree.

  6. Since taxpayers lost money in hosting the Super Bowl with its thousands of fans and media exposure, why pursue hosting cricket games which offer neither?

  7. Paul Ogden has been talking about this boondoggle for months. And some people voted for Ballard not once but twice.

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