Pacers reacting to economic crunch

October 2, 2008
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fieldhouseLet it not be said that the Indiana Pacers are not community minded. Team officials yesterday released several initiatives the team recently has launched to reach out to fans during these “difficult economic times.”

· 11 for 8: A mini season ticket package is being offered where fans get 11 games for the price of eight. This includes the Nov. 1 home opener against the Boston Celtics.
· 8,600 tickets for $25 or less; one of the highest number (2,300) of $10 seats in the NBA.
· Family nights: Four tickets, four t-shirts, four hot dogs, four sodas for $80.
· $5 tickets for military personnel. Any active military member can buy any ticket (subject to availability) for $5 on game nights with valid identification.
· Season tickets available as low as $299.
· Pacers teamed up with Pepsi to offer special buy one, get one free ticket offer for five games.
· Full season ticket holders didn’t have to pay for preseason games; half season-ticket holders didn’t have to pay for two games.
· Reduced season ticket prices in specific lower and club level seating areas.
· College Nights: College students offered the opportunity to purchase any balcony ticket for $10.
· $2 rooftop garage parking for every game in Virginia Avenue garage.

I was asked earlier this week during a radio interview which locally based professional team is most at risk during this economic downturn. I said the Pacers, mostly because team officials are smack in the middle of their selling cycle as the downturn hits. The “wait and see” attitude of many local fans during the team’s rebuilding process hasn’t helped.

This issue begs for reader response. Are these initiatives a way for the Pacers to reach out to a community hurting because of the economy or the reaction of a team in an economic pinch itself? Or both?
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  • Just lower prices across the board. Fans will come back if they start to win again and price increases would then be expected. All these promotions are confusing.
  • The people are hurting and so are the Pacers. Quite the crossroads. Quite an opportunity for the Pacrers. I agree, though all these deals are a bit confusing.
  • I think these promotions are meant to appeal to individuals and to the 'walk-up' crowd that will decide to attend on a game by game basis. The more expensive seats are generally corporate tickets.

    To answer the question, I think it is both. First all these $5, $10 seats become marginal revenue which a cheap seat sold is better than a full priced seat empty. Plus, if you get enough people attending (and the Pacers do well - both in wins and entertainment value) you can get some buzz back about the pacers. People will want to go and then that will enhance value of the corporate season ticket holder. There are many STH's who complained they couldnt even give their tickets away last year.

    I for one am betting the season will be better and signed on with a buddy to split two BigSlam $299 tickets. The cost is less than $8 per game and I know I'll have a seat to see Kobe, LeBron, Oden, Bosh, JO, Nash, DWade etc.... That deal brought me back to the Pacers.
  • Both but more of the latter (a team in an economic pinch itself).

    The TV marketing efforts are better - making the players more appealing and real by showing their personalities rather than creating a bigger than life image. Bigger than life seemed to translate to above the law for some reason.

    Will the Pacers change the atmosphere (sound effects, music) at games?
  • I love what the Pacers are doing and hope that folks take advantage of these great icket offers. I hate that they're in this position but as a fan without a bunch of disposable incolme for tickets I am excited to see a team eager for my dollars rather than simply pandering to corporate types. This gives the real fan an opportunity to take back ownership of his team.

    New players, new attitude, new prices...I'm excited.
  • To BigSlam Sam,
    I believe the Pacers offered the same exact $299 package last season but under a different name - the Pepsi Big Slam Package. So what made you purchase this year as opposed to last year? Maybe you are one of those their marketing efforts are trying to reac.

    To indyjrob,
    Don't be fooled. The team is just as eager for your dollars as the corporate types. Assuming you are not part of the corporate community you won't ever see the efforts focused in that area. Everyone's money is the same color.

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