Indianapolis hasn’t hosted the NBA All-Star Game since 1985—when it was in the Hoosier Dome—something the league’s commissioner, Adam Silver, wants to change. But local officials haven’t pulled the trigger on a bid.
Sales of season tickets, merchandise and sponsorships are all up. Attendance is expected to match—or even exceed—the 2013-2014 season. And the stadium deal the Pacers struck with the city’s Capital Improvement Board last year has freed the franchise to make investments it hopes will pay dividends long term.
The section of Georgia Street west of the fieldhouse was conceived as a way to create an eye-catching Super Bowl pedestrian zone in 2012. The challenge since has been to find a sustainable role for the venue.
The Indiana Pacers’ $50 million, five-story training venue will be called the St. Vincent Center and offer primary care, cardiovascular and sports performance services for the public.
The team wants to look outside central Indiana for six-figure deals with major players. Shamrock Sports & Entertainment’s clients include NASCAR and World Series of Poker.
Dependability—in a wide range of roles with the team—spurred Pacers Sports & Entertainment President Jim Morris earlier this year to recommend to owner Herb Simon that Fuson become his successor. On Sept. 30, Simon made it official, naming Rick Fuson president.
There’s never been a better time to be a professional sports franchise operator in Indianapolis. Season-ticket renewal rates and attendance are near record levels. But some observers wonder whether too much of a good thing could turn into a bad thing if spending on sports outruns growth in the local economy.
The seemingly endless yellow brick road to Oz, or what residents of central Indiana have come to accept as privately owned professional sports franchises seeking financial sustenance to build and upgrade, is nearing a tipping point of practical expenditures.
The city’s Capital Improvement Board on Monday afternoon unanimously approved a $160 million, 10-year finance package to the Indiana Pacers for the operations of Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
CIB President Ann Lathrop said Friday that debt refinancings at low interest rates have freed up money to fund capital projects at the 14-year-old Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The NBA season isn’t supposed to start in earnest until after the Super Bowl. But the Indiana Pacers this season didn’t wait until an NFL champion was crowned to go red hot—on and off the court.
Venues mean something. More than bricks and steel and concrete, if done right, they ooze character and provide a sense of special place.
The team plans to provide gold t-shirts for all in attendance for Saturday’s game, which tips off at 8 p.m. Ticket packages for next season are selling as local enthusiasm builds.
Building owner Kite Realty Group Trust has agreed to renovate the aging facility’s ice rinks to enable the hockey team to play more games there next season.
The 1985 NBA All-Star Game remains the only all-star game the league has held in Indianapolis—a curious omission given the city’s propensity for landing big-time events.