Pre-season is fan base indicator

October 16, 2008
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hummelFor those who say the pre-season means nothing, I disagree. It’s a good indicator of a team’s fan base. While I didn’t expect the Indiana Pacers to draw hordes of fans for its pre-season slate, I was mildly surprised they didn’t sell out Pepsi Coliseum for their pre-season opener. I guess it’s time to stop leaning on the ABA past and start looking to the future. The crowd of more than 9,500 at the team’s game in Fort Wayne was more encouraging, especially given that only about 7,000 tickets were sold before game day. Last night’s announced crowd of 9,179 at Conseco Fieldhouse could be a sign of things to come in the central Indiana market unless the Pacers get off to a hot regular season start. I know, it’s only pre-season.

The Pacers will find out soon enough how loyal—and large—their fan base is, with the season opener against Boston fast approaching Nov. 1. With seven of the team’s first 10 games at Conseco Fieldhouse, November will be a telling month for the Blue and Gold’s prospects for fiscal 2008-09.

Indiana and Purdue won’t have to wait until their season openers in November to get a gauge. They’ll get an indicator during season-opening practice Friday night. IU has traditionally drawn between 12,000 and 16,000 for its Hoosier Hysteria and Purdue has seen interest intensify this year for its Mackey Madness, the first time it has been held in five years.

Purdue Coach Matt Painter is pushing for a 14,000-plus sell-out in West Lafayette. If he gets it, expect this to become an annual event. Given Purdue’s nationally ranked men’s team, a large crowd is likely.

With IU losing almost its entire roster after last season’s meltdown, the turnout at this year’s Hoosier Hysteria will be especially telling. And in Bloomington, this is about far more than school spirit.

With its football team tanking, IU can scarcely afford to see an attendance decline during its men’s basketball season. In 2007, the IU football team brought in $17 million. You should expect that to go down dramatically this year. During the same time period, the IU men’s basketball team brought in $12.3 million. A steep revenue drop in both programs could send the school’s athletic department back in the red.
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  • I predict it will be a very, very long season for the Pacers. They still have issues to sort out. Attitude reflects leadership.
  • I think IU fans will show that it's not just wins and losses the drive people through the turnstyles. The Hoosier faithful will rally behind the team if Crean does it the right way, and I think he will.
  • IU needs to do it the right way throughout the athletic department, and they still have some unfinished business there.

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  1. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

  2. 85 feet for an ambitious project? I could shoot ej*culate farther than that.

  3. I tried, can't take it anymore. Untill Katz is replaced I can't listen anymore.

  4. Perhaps, but they've had a very active program to reduce rainwater/sump pump inflows for a number of years. But you are correct that controlling these peak flows will require spending more money - surge tanks, lines or removing storm water inflow at the source.

  5. All sewage goes to the Carmel treatment plant on the White River at 96th St. Rainfall should not affect sewage flows, but somehow it does - and the increased rate is more than the plant can handle a few times each year. One big source is typically homeowners who have their sump pumps connect into the sanitary sewer line rather than to the storm sewer line or yard. So we (Carmel and Clay Twp) need someway to hold the excess flow for a few days until the plant can process this material. Carmel wants the surge tank located at the treatment plant but than means an expensive underground line has to be installed through residential areas while CTRWD wants the surge tank located further 'upstream' from the treatment plant which costs less. Either solution works from an environmental control perspective. The less expensive solution means some people would likely have an unsightly tank near them. Carmel wants the more expensive solution - surprise!

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