Sunday, March 17, 2013

Indiana Pacers Wonder Why Public the Organization Fleeced Won't Support the Team

George Hill, star player for the Pacers, recently spoke to Mike Wells writer for the Indianapolis Star regarding the lack of public support for the Pacers.  Wells published the comments in a story on his blog:
“It sucks. It was 70 (Lakers fans) – 30 (Pacers fans) out there. These are the same people that wants autographs after the game. We’re out there in the community. We’re doing our job, doing what we’re supposed to do on and off the court. Something has to change. I tip my hat to this team. We’ve been trouble free. Been out in the community shaking hands, we’re winning. It shouldn’t feel like an away game, especially with an important like this. Tonight, that’s what it felt like.”

“They always say your fans are your sixth man and you feed off that energy. Energy is down and we turn the ball over and we’re hearing cheers. We’re missing shots and we’re hearing cheers. That kind of brings your head down cause you know you’re at home. It shouldn’t be like that. Now we see how it is. We have to move forward, don’t worry about. Stay focus on what’s in this locker room and don’t worry about the rest.”

“(We’re) not a team that’s in the bottom in the East. We’re one of the top three teams in the East. We’re winning the Central Division and it should show. Right now it’s not and it’s been all season long where it’s not showing and I don’t think there’s nothing else we can do as an organization and as players. Now it’s up to the community.”
Bankers Life Fieldhouse
This morning Wells reports that coach Frank Vogel supports those comments.

Here is my message to the Pacers' organization:  You reap what you sow.   In 2009, the Indiana Pacers had a chance to help out this community when we asked for a mere $5 million contribution to help avoid tax increases for the bailout of the Capital Improvement Board.  The Pacers (and the Colts) refused to contribute $5 million.

A few years later, the Pacers demanded that we taxpayers pay the organization to run Conseco Fieldhouse (now Bankers Life Fieldhouse), a publicly-owned facility at which the Pacers play for free.  Part of the original deal was that we would let the Pacers keep 100% of the basketball and non-basketball revenue from the facility if the organization ran the building. That wasn't good enough for the Pacers though.  They wanted us to pay to run the place while the team continues to derive 100% of the revenue from the building.  Of course the City's "negotiators" gave in.  Thus far, we taxpayers in the last three years have paid the Pacers $43.5 million.

Now the Pacers are complaining that the Indianapolis residents who they gave the back of their hand to aren't buying their very expensive tickets as people struggle to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.  Too bad.  The Pacers are lucky anyone goes to their games after how they've treated this community the past several years.


Flogger said...

I already gave at the restaurant I bought carry out from last Thursday Night in Marion County. You see I paid a Food and Beverage Tax, which if I recall right goes into the pockets of the CIB. The CIB that directs this collection into building nice shiny stadiums you can play in, rent free.

The server that took my order probably receives a minimum wage far below the minimum wage a player in the NBA or NFL makes. The owner of the restaurant I went to probably does not receive a Government Subsidy that paid for his building, or the maintenance of the premises. He pays Property Taxes too.

Southsider said...

Haven't been to a Pacers game since 12/09/2000 (still have the stub) $45 + 5.25 convenience fee. (whatever that meant) Watching a NBA game on tv is seeing overpaid guys showing off tattoos. Have never been impressed with G Hill.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Flogger, you're right. We are all contributing to the billionaire owner of the Pacers and the millionaires who play the game. They're just upset we are not giving more.

Would this be covered by the proposed new panhandling ordinance?

guy77money said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paul K. Ogden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul K. Ogden said...


Since 1997, Utah has won 2 championships, San Antonio has won 4 and Oklahoma City won the championship last year. All three are smaller than Indy even when you look at metro areas. Indy is not really that small...we're pretty much middle of the road when it comes to the NBA.

Your argument works better when it comes to baseball than the NBA or the NFL.

The rest of what you say, I agree with.

Guest said...

The magic is gone since Reggie and company were disbanded. Even non basketball people liked them and took an interest. After that -well you know the story. Simon has always been whining about his lack of profit for the Pacers. I don't think he has ever said he profits from the Pacers. Must use it as a write off.

Pete Boggs said...

Like government, the Pacers have a price problem. Open the franchise to market forces, sell ownership shares, get off the backs of taxpayers, reduce costs & ticket prices.

Unigov said...

Big factoids missing from the Pacers attendance meme:

1) Scoring - Pacers games are duller because of low scoring they're tied with the Bulls for second lowest in the NBA, for combined (team+opponent) scoring, at 184/game.

2) Pricing - the Grizzlies have the lowest total scoring in the league, but their attendance is higher, in part because they offer a $10 ticket (5 is fees). Pacers cheapest ticket is $16.

3) Lack of Star Power - the Pacers don't have a player averaging over 18 a game.

4) Mystique - the Lakers and Kobe are ginormous. Lakers have fans everywhere, just like the Packers. People turn out to see Kobe because he is *the* defining player of this era. During Cal Ripken's last year, fans came out in droves to see the legend. Kobe is *that* big of a legend.

5) Audience - most of the good seats are purchased thru corporations so they go to more affluent people...most of the affluent corporate types don't follow the NBA. They follow college basketball - they all went to college, so it's a corporate 'thing' to talk about college ball. Corporate types transfer in and out of cities, so don't have the kind of loyalty that locals have. There's definitely a race component with 95% of the good seats filled by white people while 95% of the good players are black. A lot of corporate types don't want to stick around downtown til 10 pm to see a game on a weeknight, or drive in on the weekend, as they tend to live in the donut counties.

6) Finally - Yes the Simons get all the revenue from Bankers Life, but beyond the Pacers, that's not much. Fever fans are fewer, and they don't buy nearly the concessions. Only about 5 big concerts hit there per year, like Bieber, etc.