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Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers team owners pledge $750K each to Indianapolis orchestra

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - 7:58 am

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon are pledging $750,000 each to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's fundraising campaign aimed at ending a labor dispute with its musicians.

Along with a $500,000 challenge grant from symphony board member Yvonne Shaheen, the donations announced Tuesday lifted the orchestra nearly halfway toward its $5 million fundraising goal by Feb. 3. The three donations represent $2 million of the $2.35 million the orchestra has raised.

If it meets the goal, the orchestra and the musicians will enter into a new five-year contract that cuts musicians' pay by 32 percent in the first year and reduces the year-round performance schedule by eight weeks during the first two years.

Deadlocked labor talks resulted in five weeks of canceled performances earlier this year.