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The Score - Anthony Schoettle

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Sports Business

Is Pacers ticket price increase a reach?

May 13, 2011
KEYWORDS Sports Business

Word coming out of the Indiana Pacers front office is that season tickets prices for next season are increasing about 9 percent.

It’s the team’s first ticket increase in five years. The move likely has more to do with the team’s need for more cash and less to do with supply and demand. There are 18,165 seats inside Conseco Fieldhouse, and this season the team averaged 13,538 for 41 regular season home games. I’m not convinced the team would have sold out either one of its two home playoff games had it not been for an influx of Chicago Bulls fans.

And some of the season tickets over the last two seasons have been sold at a substantial discount, season ticket holders have told IBJ. Some season ticket holders who signed a multi-year deal will not be required to pay the increased price—not next year, anyway.

Despite all the promotions and ticket discounts, the team’s attendance slid from 14,202 last year, even while the team was making its first run to the playoffs in five years. And the lower bowl, where tickets are largely bought and paid for in advance by season ticket holders, wasn’t exactly packed for every home game.

Equally troubling for Pacers executives, the team’s attendance declined as this past season progressed. The Pacers came out of the gate and averaged 13,712 for the first 11 home games. Through 27 home games, the Blue and Gold averaged 13,599 per home contest. Attendance slid to 13,538 through 41 home games.

So is it a reach for Pacers brass to demand more money from their faithful season ticket holders? Only time will tell.

When the Pacers set prices for single-game tickets later this summer, my guess is they won’t push the envelope as much.

 

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