Pacers organization terminates dozens of employees in cost-cutting move

  • Comments
  • Print

Pacers Sports & Entertainment on Friday terminated dozens of full-time staff, citing the need to cut costs because of the pandemic.

The entity, which owns and manages the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever, cut about 16% of its workforce, a spokesman told IBJ.

The company declined to specify the exact number of people who were terminated or provide the size of its full-time staff. On its web site, PS&E says it employs about 180 full-time workers, which would mean about 29 people lost their jobs. But the company also lists about 300 full-time employees on its staff list, which would mean about 48 people were terminated.

“[W]hile we have been able to avoid impacts to our full-time staff during the last four months, the continued uncertainty of a return to fully-attended events have regrettably made further steps unavoidable,” Rick Fuson, president of PS&E, said in a written statement. “As a result, we have reduced our full-time workforce and have implemented other significant cost-cutting measures in response to the effects of these unprecedented and unforeseen circumstances.”

Fuson said the affected employees will receive severance, a health care subsidy and “connections to resources and support services to help them transition to their next professional opportunities.” He did not indicate whether some could be rehired in the future.

“These are certainly very difficult steps to have to take, and we are so very grateful to each of our staff members affected by these changes and thank them for their dedication and commitment to our company,” he said.

Fuson and the Pacers organization declined to answer follow-up questions about whether specific departments were more adversely affected by the cuts, as well as how contract workers—like security personnel and event staff—have been affected by the loss of events and revenue over the past several months.

Bankers Life Fieldhouse, which is managed by PS&E, has not hosted an event since the pandemic began in March. The venue is in the middle of the first phase of a $360 million, mostly taxpayer-funded renovation that began in May.

The Pacers and the Fever franchises are both in Florida to compete in the NBA restart and the WNBA regular season, respectively, as part of isolated programming conducted by their leagues.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

11 thoughts on “Pacers organization terminates dozens of employees in cost-cutting move

  1. Too bad a billionaire couldn’t find a way to keep on 30+/- people who are going into an abysmal job market. Especially since it’s nearly certain they will need to re-fill these spots next year. Well, at least there’s supplemental unemployment comp – oh, wait, the GOP let that lapse.

    1. Yeah, just keep printing that money and sending it out, Horatio. Do you realize that makes every dollar in your wallet or portfolio worth less because no bona-fide goods or services were provided to earn that dollar? Does basic economics escape you?

  2. And so the “shutdown” ordered by Dr. Fauci continues. Today, under questioning by Ohio congressman Jim Jordan, Dr. Fauci refused to give a competent answer to Mr. Jordan’s question regarding whether protests constituted a risk for exposure to COVID 19. Dr. Fauci consistently said he was not in a position to offer an opinion on this. His only retort was that crowds tended to increase the chances of acquiring the virus. The position the Pacers find themselves in and soon most Professional sports and major college sports programs will find themselves in has been highly influenced by opinions offered by Dr. Fauci and others such as Dr. Birx. As long as we allow these pretty much self appointed persons to hold sway over our very economic existence with basically no responsibility or consequences we will continue to see “announcements” from organizations such as the Pacers. Blaming the Simons is not the answer. They give tremendous amounts of support and monies to their employees and the community but organizations such as the Pacers have to produce income of some amount to at least attempt to break even. The farce we see being put on down in “Disney World” is pretty much a joke. No real fans, no real games, other than as “card board cutouts.”

    1. Hey Neil, New Zealand is back to hosting live sporting events. How’d you think they did that? Maybe it’s because their leadership listened to the science.

      You know why we aren’t in that situation in America, or at least closer to it?

      Maybe it’s because we have the most anti-science federal Administration on recent record at the worst possible time? Maybe it’s because grandstanders like Jim Jordan are listened to more than expert doctors scientists whose knowledge is needed now more than ever?

      We didn’t have to have a shutdown, we needed people to listen to the science in January and February. They didn’t, so we had to shut down. And since we aren’t listening to the science STILL, a shutdown is all the more likely.

      But go on, keep blaming Fauci because you don’t like what he says. Maybe blame the guy who said that the 15 cases of coronavirus would be down to zero very soon.

    2. Taxpayers “give tremendous amounts of support and monies” to build, operate and maintain the stadium (including a $360M upgrade, which is almost double the original cost to build BLF) that the Pacers use for free.

    3. Hey Joe B, are you seriously trying to compare New Zealand (an island with 5 million population) to the US (330 million population)?

      Trump is an idiot… but he does not deserve all the blame.

      In January and February, USA’s top physicians (including Drs. Fauci and Gupta) were telling the public to not wear masks. Pretty much every politician and lots of scientists/physicians screwed up the country’s response. Governors have free reign to control their state’s reopening plans. Republicans and Democrats are both to blame.

  3. Why make it political? The players and the NBA are doing that and that’s why I’ve lost all interest in the NBA! After many years of having Season Tickets.