Pacers attendance: Time to convert

April 29, 2009
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grangerEarlier this week, I pointed out the Indiana Pacers’ 14,182 attendance this season was 28th out of 30 National Basketball Association teams. I also pointed out, the team’s attendance represented a big increase from last year’s league worst figure.

After a little more slicing and dicing, I’ve discovered that the Pacers 17.5 percent attendance increase this season is second in the league. The New Orleans Hornets, who averaged 16,968, had a 20.3 percent increase. The Philadelphia 76ers had the third biggest increase at 7 percent.

The biggest losers were the Sacramento Kings with a 10.2 percent attendance decrease, the Washington Wizards with 7.8 percent and Miami Heat 6.4 percent.

The Pacers’ attendance increase no doubt had to do with deeply discounted ticket prices, but also an aggressive marketing and sales program which included everything from $5 tickets to a limitless concession stand snack food package.

Pacers President Jim Morris told IBJ in February that the Pacers this year are bringing in more than $400,000 per game below the $900,000 league average in ticket revenue. But if some of this year’s samplers become season or partial season ticket holders next year, the gamble could pay off. The attendance increase shows the foundation is laid.
  • In reference to the IRL race coverage and viewer numbers from the Kansas race:
    The coverage was the best I have ever seen on an IRL race in recent years.
    There is no doubt the race probably lost viewers due to the threat of rain. Even those in Kansas were uncertain of the possibility of the race even starting due to weather concerns.
    Even as I watched the race I was monitoring the radar on my cell phone to see if it would be a rain out.
    Versus is doing a GrEAT job of covering the races and commentary.
    However, where I live Versus is not available on basic cable channels. It is only accessable through dish or expanded packages. This I believe limits fans ablity to view the races.
    I wonder if the veiwer numbers takes into account the people that watch the race in public venues, i.e. bars. Where I was watching the race there were about 20 people watching IRL... Not NASCAR..
  • I thought this post was about the Pacers. Anyway, I'm not convinced the team has won over that many new fans. If next year's revenue is as bad as this one, Herb Simon will have to decide what to do with Larry Bird and Jim Morris.
  • Well, they won back THIS former fan. Even though I moved from Indy to Los Angeles about 5 years ago, I remain a die hard Colts fan. I've TRIED to remain a Pacers fan, as well, but found it difficult to connect with the personnel the team had in place. This year I found myself interested in the Pacers again for the first time in a long time. I really appreciated the effort the team put forth, even if it fell well short of a run in the playoffs. The right people seem to be in place and I think that Larry is doing an admirable job filling in some very large shoes. This team is beginning to resemble something closer to the one we cheered for in the hey day of Rik, Reggie, Mark, Dale and Dale... back when being a Pacers fan was more than just fun - it was a privelege.

    I'm looking forward to a good next season and fully expect these guys to be competing in the playoffs come next April. Keep it up Pacers!

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