Pacers sell $6 tickets

May 30, 2008
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The Indiana Pacers today began offering season tickets for about $6 per game. That’s one of the lowest ticket prices in the National Basketball Association. The cost is cheaper if you figure in preseason games, which are included in the deal.

The promotion is the latest by the team’s front office to boost sagging attendance which was at a 22-year low of 12,221 last season. That was good for last in the 30-team league.

The Pacers, in partnership with Mountain Dew, announced yesterday that fans can buy season tickets for $249 in the Mountain Dew Big Slam Corner. The deal starts June 1. July 1, the price goes up to $299, and the deal ends Aug. 31.

The season ticket package in the Big Slam Corner, sections 227-229, includes a ticket to each Pacers preseason and regular season home game at Conseco Fieldhouse, free Mountain Dew products and gear, in-game giveaways, monthly prizes and exclusive Pacemates access.

The team also announced some deals for lower level tickets, which were also bountiful last season. More than 1,200 lower level end zone seats will be available for $55 per game as a season ticket ($71 for individual game purchase), a savings of $720.

For the second consecutive season, the Pacers will have more than 2,800 tickets available for $10, and more than 8,000 tickets for $25 or less at each home game.

Will this latest promotion win fans back? And if this won’t, what will?
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  • Personally, I don't think it will make that much difference. They need to get rid of the thugs on the team and concentrate on playing good basketball. I know it's a necessary evil, but when they seem to constantly trade off players (of the non-thug variety) the fans barely have time to get to know a player before they're packed up and shipped off somewhere else. I hardly knew who a single player was the last game I went to, which was the last game of this season
  • People seem too quick to blame the players, but I think the sagging attendance is more a by-product of the NBA evolution from sporting event to entertainment event.

    The NBA realized a long time ago that the people who can afford to buy the lower level seats ($3K a seat and up for season tix) aren't traditional basketball fans. They need music, and gimmicks on the jumbotron, and parachutes falling from the rafters. It's become a show for kids and rich dads. By catering to this crowd, all NBA teams--Pacers included--realized they could drastically increase the prices of their lower bowl and club seats and still sell them out.

    This created two problems. One, the traditional NBA fantatic was priced out of the venue. Two, all of the gimmicks destroyed the flow of the game and almost made the basketball secondary to the entertainment show.

    It's not a problem just in Indy, look across the NBA where teams like the Sixers, Celtics, Trailblazers--teams with traditionally strong fanbases in good or bad--have had their season ticket holders evolve from die-hard fan to corporate seats, local society page whores and other bandwagon jumpers. Then when the team goes south, the bandwagon fans leave. That's sports in the 21st century, and it's not limited to the Pacers, or really even the NBA. It might be amplified a bit because of he off the court issues, but it's deeper than that.

    The Pacers can't change this model by lowering ticket prices to the point where upper middle class incomes can afford decent seats because it would leave the team financially unable to compete. I think the problem is a league-wide problem, and not one that the team is going to be able to fix.
  • I think Firewoman is A-Schoettle's username.

    Firewoman-- The thug talk gets old, especially since most of what you said is a joke. You don't know who the Pacers are because you don't read real stories -- you waste your time reading columns/blogs like the above. Check HoopsHype, Pacers.com, even ESPN.

    How do you not know the following: Granger (top player), Foster (been on team since late 90s), Dunleavy *Duke, top 3 pick), O'Neal (multi-All Star), Murphy (Notre Dame), Diener, Diogu (lottery pick from Granger's draft). Not to mention guys who've been in the news for one thing or another -- Daniels, Tinsley, Williams.

    It gets old hearing Schoettle bad mouth the Pacers all the time. He knows business so well that all stats come from Forbes and all analysis comes from professors. Maybe he should focus on getting a web site that one can navigate. IBJ.com looks more old fashion than the newspaper edition itself.
  • WIN!! I like the group of players they have (minus Tinsley) but they have to WIN to get fans to return. With money tight, who are you gonna pay to watch live? The Colts, who are contenders every year, have great superstar players and won a recent championship, or the Pacers. I love the Pacers, but they have to WIN if they want our hard earned cash.
  • I don't think I can let FireDog's comments go unanswered. Ironically I've been accused of being over-promotional and over-critical of the Pacers during my years at IBJ. I was once even criticized for wearing a Pacers golf shirt (bought for me by my wife) on my off-time. As a life-long Indianapolis resident, who has been lucky enough to attend Pacers games dating back to 1969, I take no joy in raining bad news down on the Pacers and their fans. And since FireDog is so fond of in-depth research, he/she should know that a quick search of the IBJ story archive would show that I have written a bevy of positive stories about the Pacers since joining the staff here in 1998, including feature profiles chronicling the success of Donnie Walsh, David Kahn, Quinn Buckner, etc. I also wrote an in-depth story in 2000 about how the Pacers rallied the community around the idea of Conseco Fieldhouse and turned this small market challenge into financial success. But my allegiance is not to the Pacers. It is to the readers. So, when attendance dropped, I reported that. When Pacers Sports & Entertainment had difficulty drawing musical acts to Conseco Fieldhouse, I reported that too. And when TV ratings for Pacers games declined, that too made the columns of IBJ. I didn't create any of the above circumstances, I merely reported the facts. And I will continue to do so. As always, thanks for reading.
  • I completely agree with Firedog, the constant badmouthing of the Pacers has not only gotten old, it has gone way too far. But it is not just Schoettle. Unfortunately, it has become very popular amongst all local media to pile on the Pacers. AS points out positive stories he has written about Pacers, but has to go back to 2000 as the most recent example. Really, has nothing positive occured at Conseco Fieldhouse in the past 8 years?? AS - why not be a little different and be the only member of our local press who chooses not to kick the Pacers while they are down? Some local readers and fans may want to know more about great guys/players like Granger, Dunleavy, Diener, Foster, Murphy, etc. Or if you want to stick with a business angle, I wonder how many of your readers would be surprised to know that the Pacers TV ratings were actually UP significantly last season. Probably most of them because all they ever hear about is the doom & gloom stories beaten like a dead horse.
  • I'd like to direct FireDog and Pacers Fan to a March 10, 2008 IBJ article written by me with the headline; Pacers TV ratings up. Yes, IBJ wrote actual positive news about the Pacers this very year. IBJ didn't cover it because it was positive or negative news. IBJ covered it because it was pertinent news about the team. Period. As always, thanks for reading.
  • Firedog-

    It's funny that you find time to bash Anthony yet you are here reading his blog. It is not his job to be Mr. Nice guy, it his job to report the facts. And if you have followed his articles over the years you would realize this is what he has done. It sounds to me like you are in the PR department of the Pacers and just doing your job.

    For the record, the Pacers don't deserve our support (nor our money) until they find a way to earn it back.

    Lastly, it took me all of 5 seconds to navigate my way here. Keep up the great work Anthony and IBJ.

    -FireExtinguisher
  • Mr. Schoettle hit it right on the nose. It's the media's job to report on things pertinent to the team. I don't think he or anyone else in the media is being inordinately negative toward the Pacers.

    Regardless of what goes on with a team off the field, they will always get more of a pass in the court of public perception when they win games. When the team gets back on track, people will return. The problem is there are few tradeable assets currently on the roster and it takes time to build through the draft, especially if you're drafting in the middle of the first round.

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