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Sports Business

Pacers fan fallout

January 29, 2008
There’s been a lot of feedback regarding the article about the Indiana Pacers’ attendance problem that appeared in this week’s IBJ. A growing number of readers say they won’t be going to Pacers games anytime soon—even if the team starts winning. That’s bad news for the Pacers, since the franchise is already last in the NBA in attendance.

While league attendance is down 4 percent this year compared to last year, Pacers attendance has plummeted 22 percent. The league-wide attendance average nearing the All-Star Game is 17,100. The Pacers are drawing 12,068 through 19 home games.

Further bad news is that much of the negative reaction is coming from the business sector the franchise has tried to attract in recent years.

Tim Gravenstreter, 58, owner of Odyssey Map Store, on Delaware Street downtown, is one of the honked off fans.
“I was a diehard Pacers fan from Day One, going to the very first game the team ever had at the [Indiana State Fairgrounds] Coliseum,” Gravenstreter said.

Gravenstreter is no longer a season-ticket holder, and said he has turned down free tickets from his vendors the last two years. Those tickets are $175 seats and come with a free dinner. He said his 27- and 24-year-old sons have no more interest in the team than he does.

“I will refuse to go to see any Pacers game until every single player is gone who has been involved in a shooting, drugs or any other negative off-court incident,” Gravenstreter said. “I won’t put my butt in a seat to let them think I condone their off-court activities.”

Well, Indy sports fans, are you on the same page as Gravenstreter?
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