Pacers near 22-year attendance low

April 9, 2008
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JOpacersThe Indiana Pacers are in two races: one to make the playoffs and the other to keep their average home attendance above 12,000.

Last night against the Atlanta Hawks--arguably their biggest game of the season--the Pacers took a step toward the playoffs with a victory, but a step backward in attendance. Indiana closed Atlanta's lead over the Pacers for the eighth and final Easter Conference playoff spot to two games with four games remaining.

The announced attendance of 10,876 took the Pacers season home average down to 12,016, last in the 30-team NBA. The announced attendance included at least 2,000 season ticket holders who either didn’t bother showing up or were hanging out in the bathroom or concession areas the entire game. The lower bowl at Conseco Fieldhouse--home primarily to season ticket holders--wasn’t anywhere near full.

Few hoops prognosticators expect the Pacers to make the playoffs. But there is far more intrigue over the team’s ability to keep its home attendance above 12,000. With home games left against Charlotte Saturday and lowly New York next Wednesday, the franchise has a solid chance at seeing its attendance dip below 12,000 for the first time since the 1985-86 season.

While the Pacers have a slim chance of catching the Hawks for the eighth playoff spot, barring a telethon ticket sales effort the team has no chance of catching any NBA franchise in average home attendance. Here’s a look at the league’s bottom five.
25. Minnesota 14,331
26. Sacramento 14,119
27. New Orleans 14,101
28. Seattle 13,282
29. Memphis 12,717
30 Indiana 12,016
  • Yikes, that's not good.

    This is not a situation of disinterest, this is active revolt against a team that has beaten and battered its fan base with embarrassing actions off the court, malaise on the court, and some iffy decision making in the front office. We need some changes to push away from the dark era of the past few years.

    I AM CONSIDERING BUYING SEASON TICKETS... IF .... they make some offseason changes that make notable progress to the roster and character upgrades. Trading Tinsley and maybe Jermaine while adding a young star like DJ Augustin or Hibbert, etc... would be a step forward. We have Granger and Dunleavy with a cast of Foster, Diogu, Williams off the bench wouldn't be too bad plus whoever we got in exchange for a trade. If the Grizzlies took Kwame Brown for Pao Gasol and the Heat got Shawn Marion we could get some value for a 29 year old Jermaine.

    Who knows, but the only way to reverse this is to put together a likeable team and for the FRINGE fans to buy tickets.
  • The business community buys the season tickets for the most part. It's become the in thing to bash the Pacers rather than cheer them on. So businesses have invested in a marketing or HR benefit that isn't the hottest ticket in town. As the article pointed out, tickets are sold but even the STH's dont show up. What has the no-show rate been the last five years?

    Three things need to be done to get the buzz back:
    1)a trade or two
    2)a decent draft pick or two
    3)No more negative Pacer player news.

    The problem is - every time the Pacer organization makes a positive move or time starts to heal a wound, the Pacer players do something that opens it all back up again. Stay out of trouble between now and Opening Night 2008!
  • Who are the Pacers?
  • Sounds like the team could use a little brand management. When the brand doesn't register, you've hit rock bottom.
  • Winning cures everything in sports.

    The Pacers will be back. It wont happen overnight though.

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