Art Angotti, the person who almost introduced Major League Baseball to Indianapolis, dies


Art Angotti, recognized in Indianapolis because the “last entrepreneur” and labored to bring a Major League Baseball crew to the city in 1985, died after a ten-month war with cancer. He changed into seventy-four.

Angotti for years led Artistic Media Partners, which owned as many as 20 radio stations. But he turned into, possibly, great referred to as the person who rallied to bring a 3rd expert sports crew, the Indianapolis Arrows, to a burgeoning Downtown.

“It became the sort of outstanding attempt,” stated Jeff Smulyan, founder and CEO of Indianapolis-based totally Emmis Communications, who worked with Angotti at the Arrows project, which he said sooner or later led to his purchase of the Seattle Mariners. “It epitomized Art being the closing entrepreneur who simply desired to make stuff manifest.”


According to his obituary on Dignity Memorial, Angotti changed into born on September 25, 1944, in Gary, Ind., and “grew up in a large and loving Italian-American own family.” He became a 1962 graduate of Gary Mann High School, where he played quarterback for the football crew and turned into the 1962 nation music champion inside the mile. Angotti earned a scholarship for the track at Indiana University, in which he graduated with a business degree in 1966.

Angotti loved sports of any type, so while he got a hazard to pursue a first-rate league crew for the metropolis he loved, he jumped at it.

On the streets of Downtown within the summer of 1985, it wasn’t ordinary to look human beings on foot about carrying Indianapolis Arrows T-shirts. Angotti changed into certainly one of them. Indianapolis turned into gaining desire as a discipline of desires.

The Indianapolis Colts had simply finished their first season playing at the Hoosier Dome. The city’s now-booming conference enterprise had started to sprout. And Downtown become already domestic to the Indiana Pacers.

“There became lots of attention on Indianapolis,” Angotti, who headed a collection of nearby investors looking to buy a present or enlarge MLB team, instructed IndyStar in 2005. “All the infrastructure efforts had been putting Indianapolis on tv and on the sports activities map.”

The deal in no way closed for an MLB group to come to Indy for a myriad of motives. In that 2005 interview, Angotti, a project capitalist and a hit businessman, nonetheless had regrets.

People have to by no means forget, Angotti said, that magical time inside the metropolis’s sports activities history — whilst the Indianapolis Arrows almost got here to be.

12,000 buy season tickets

A news convention was changed into held in February of 1985. Officials from Indianapolis Baseball, Inc. — a collection of local investors put together by Angotti, business leaders, and philanthropist Thomas Binford — announced the metropolis’s new essential league crew would be called the Arrows.

There became no new group, without a doubt. However, there had been definite reasons to think there might be.

A group that blanketed Fred Simon, whose brothers owned the Pacers, had reportedly decided to buy the Minnesota Twins and flow them to Indy in 1984. Teams in Pittsburgh and Oakland were also for sale. Plus, new MLB commissioner Peter Ueberroth is hinting baseball might soon expand.

The proposal received steam fast. “Indianapolis Sports Magazine” did a cover tale on Angotti and his would-be Arrows in 1985.

Indianapolis Baseball, Inc., member Dave Elmore said at the time that the group desired to finalize a hire with the city on the Hoosier Dome. Angotti stated it had reached an agreement with WTTV-four to televise Arrows video games.

A listing of eleven minority traders turned into launched in June, and Angotti stated he changed into improving $50 million. The enthusiasts have been reputedly prepared to pay, too.

More than 12,000 human beings bought season tickets at $50 apiece. The past-due Chicago Cubs announcer Harry Caray changed into the featured speaker at a rally on Monument Circle later that summertime.

“I’ll do the whole thing in my electricity to help get a franchise,” Caray said, “because I agree with this city is where a major league team should sincerely be triumphant.”

‘A notable, tremendous man.’

But there has been a problem: the stadium. The ultimate downfall to bringing a primary league team to Indianapolis came whilst metropolis officers and the baseball organization found out the Hoosier Dome could not be converted to a baseball stadium.

Building another major sports activities facility became out of the question, consistent with then-Mayor Bill Hudnut, considering the Hoosier Dome had simply been finished. The metropolis had seasoned sports activities teams, and that turned into sufficient.

By the quiet of 1985, Angotti’s group refunded the season price tag deposits, and he left the group in 1988.

“What we found out quite quickly is the mathematics did not include paintings right here,” Smulyan stated. “I suppose there was a real preference. But (people) started to recognize it became possibly a touch harder than the idea. The marketplace wasn’t big sufficient.”

Still, even after the Arrows fell via, Angotti encouraged Smulyan to purchase a main league crew. Smulyan did simply that, main a group that owned the Seattle Mariners from 1989 to 1992. Smulyan on Thursday credited Angotti with launching his main league endeavor.

“Art became anyone you simply favored to look coming thru the door,” he stated. “He turned into a brilliant, high-quality guy. He will be very dearly neglected.”

Angotti, who served as a primary lieutenant in an armored cavalry unit in Vietnam where he was wounded, became given a Bronze Star for Valor, a Purple Heart, and the Army Commendation Medal. He is survived by his spouse, Barbara; youngsters: Arthur III (Amber) of Indianapolis; Laura (Peter Geraghty) of Malibu, California; and grandchildren: Leo and Amaya Angotti, Briggs, and Lux Geraghty.

Calling could be held at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 1660 Kessler Blvd. East Drive Sunday from three to six p.M. And Monday from 10 to 11 a.M. Services will observe Monday’s calling.