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Indians Sign New 20-Year Lease on Victory Field

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, which runs out 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.

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 six-million dollars of an expected nine-million-dollar price tag for those projects.

The Triple-A 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. The Indians tied for the International League's West Division title, then lost the Governors' Cup finals to the Columbus Clippers.

As of June, the stadium is fully paid for. That transfers ownership of the ballpark from the Marion County Convention and Recreational Facilities Authority to White River State Park, which already owns the stadium land.

The commission is expected to give final approval to the lease on Wednesday.

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