Pacers attendance jumps this season

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INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Pacers played against the Miami Heat, Tuesday night, in front of a packed house and marked the fifth sold out game so far this season. Last year, it took 30 games before the team saw five sold out games.

The organization is turning around its low attendance rates it suffered for the last few years. Viewership is up this season about 113% and attendance is also up averaging about 17,000 fans per game as opposed to 15,000 fans per game last year.

In fact, the team’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing said the organization hasn’t done this well since 2005.

“Right now we are 18th in the NBA for attendance. So it’s quite a bit higher than we finished last year,” said Todd Taylor. “It’s really night and day.”

What’s happening inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse isn’t just good for the team. It’s actually impacting the City as a whole by bringing Indianapolis a lot of national attention.

“Winning cures all ills,” said Brian Gildea, Vice President of Indianapolis economic development. “Anytime you have a successful sports franchise you get more airplay, more national recognition. So it raises the overall profile of not just of that team, but the overall City as well.”

The annual economic impact of the Pacers is about $55 million, according to Gildea, with direct spending at $31.5 million.

“The more people you have downtown coming to the games, the more spending, the more economic impact that has on the City,” he explained.

But what’s priceless, is the civic pride the team hopes to grow with their success.

“When we get this type of notoriety, we’re mentioned with the Lakers or the Knicks or the Heat. I think that certainly gives everybody a big sense of pride,” said Taylor.

The next home game is slated for Friday December 13th as the Pacers take on the Charlotte Bobcats at 7 p.m.