INDIANAPOLIS – For many years Frank Vogel would have been luck to see a decent scattering of fans in the lower bowl of Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the team’s annual kickoff of the NBA season.
He was a little more impressed with the showing on this Sunday.
Even with a major Colts-Broncos showdown dominating the headlines, Pacers fans came out in numbers to get a glimpse of the teams before the begin regular season play on October 29th.
“It’s exciting for me, it’s exciting for the guys,” said Vogel of the fan support. “I think it’s indicative of the buzz that’s surrounding this team. This is the best turnout we had at Fan Jam since I’ve been a Pacer and it’s a sign of the times I think.”
That would seem to be the case after the Pacers concluded their best season in nearly a decade last June, advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals and taking the Miami Heat to a decisive game seven before losing at American Airlines Arena.
Fans filled up the entire lower bowl of Bankers Life Fieldhouse and even some of the second level to watch the team participate in an hour-long program. Vogel even had a chance to ride a tricycle during one of the physical challenge events, which included a Sumo Suit dribbling contest, a football throw, a game of knockout and three-point contest among other things.
Like in the past, rookie Soloman Hill had to perform a dance to a Miley Cyrus song and then get on the mic to do a little singing himself, much to the delight of the 8,000 people in attendance.
“It’s a great experience,” said guard George Hill of Fan Jam. “Anytime you get to come out here and meet all the fans who spend their hard earned money to come watch us play and cheer for us, it’s a blessing to get to know them.”