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Roaming Gnome
07-06-2008, 11:22 AM
July 6, 2008

John Ketzenberger
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080706/BUSINESS07/807060332/1104/BUSINESS07


Draft, trade give Pacers reason to smile


While fans laud the Indiana Pacers' draft-day wheeling and dealing, morale's pretty high in the business offices at Conseco Fieldhouse.

"Last week was the best week the franchise has had in the last three or four years," said Jim Morris, president of Pacers Sports & Entertainment.

More than 4,000 people were at the fieldhouse to follow the draft, which saw the Pacers trade Jermaine O'Neal for several other players, a deal that's set to be final Wednesday. "We sold a lot of season tickets at the draft party and sold a lot of renewals since," Morris said, though he wasn't specific about numbers.

This is a critical time for the Pacers organization, which has struggled both on and off the court since the November 2004 brawl in Detroit. Co-owner Herb Simon is involved in day-to-day decisions as the Pacers try to break out of their slump.

It's clear that it's much easier to negotiate a new deal with the city at Conseco Fieldhouse along the lines of what the Colts got at Lucas Oil Stadium if the organization is on the upswing.

"My hope is there's a groundswell sense that the Pacers are headed in the right direction," Morris said.

Basketball fans here are forgiving, but will businesses facing their own economic woes be so kind?

Unclebuck
07-06-2008, 11:46 AM
Great to hear. I fear however, the end result won't be really any better because of the poor economy. (end result being tickets, suites, club seats, sponsorships, ad revenue)

But if the overall feeling towards the franchise is much better than the other stuff will eventually pick up.

My guess is also once tinsley is gone that will help things along as well. Sure, we die-hards know JT is gone, but the general public and business community won't react until JT is officially gone

duke dynamite
07-06-2008, 11:55 AM
^_^

pianoman
07-06-2008, 12:14 PM
Sponsorship is gonna take a hit this season. I work at Marsh and rumor has it that Marsh is no longer a sponsor of the Pacers. Good to hear that Season ticket sales are going up. I don't think we'll be last in attendance next year.

Hicks
07-06-2008, 12:22 PM
If I send in a check for $10, can PD be a sponsor? :D

avoidingtheclowns
07-06-2008, 12:59 PM
Sponsorship is gonna take a hit this season.

that is a bit of an understatement -- but it's happening all across the country to businesses/industries that rely on it. it won't be a problem exclusive to the pacers.

ilive4sports
07-06-2008, 01:19 PM
that is a bit of an understatement -- but it's happening all across the country to businesses/industries that rely on it. it won't be a problem exclusive to the pacers.

Thats the truth. I interned at the Big 33 (high school football all star game between PA and Ohio and provide hundreds of scholarships every year if you didnt know) and they rely on sponsors to keep the organization going. This year many of the sponsors lowered their amount of dropped out because of how things are going.

Tom White
07-06-2008, 07:42 PM
Sponsorship is gonna take a hit this season. I work at Marsh and rumor has it that Marsh is no longer a sponsor of the Pacers. Good to hear that Season ticket sales are going up. I don't think we'll be last in attendance next year.

I still shake my head when I remember hearing (a couple years ago) that Don Marsh had decided that they needed to make some cuts in their spending. So they (he) decided to reduce their contributions to the Lighthouse shelter ( and others), but would continue to fully support the Symphony on the Prairie at Connor Prairie.

Gotta support all the poor symphony lovers.

That still makes me stop and wonder.

count55
07-06-2008, 08:13 PM
I still shake my head when I remember hearing (a couple years ago) that Don Marsh had decided that they needed to make some cuts in their spending. So they (he) decided to reduce their contributions to the Lighthouse shelter ( and others), but would continue to fully support the Symphony on the Prairie at Connor Prairie.

Gotta support all the poor symphony lovers.

That still makes me stop and wonder.

It really had little to do with supporting symphony lovers.

Symphony on the Prairie is a form of advertising that could, in theory, (and does) bring customers into their stores. Donations to the Lighthouse shelter (and others) would be charitable contributions that are less likely to help enhance revenue, and, therefore, more likely to be considered a luxury when looking to cut costs. It may not be the most altruistic point of view, and we may wish that it wasn't this way, but it was a perfectly reasonable business decision.

I'm a little unclear on how the proceeds are split, but it's also possible that Marsh receives revenue from this venture that mitigate or offset their expenditures, though that is a less likely scenario.

Smoothdave1
07-06-2008, 08:45 PM
I had a chance to speak to a ticket rep for a good 20-30 minutes at the draft party as she sat with my friend and I and it seemed as though the Pacers have turned over a new leaf. She mentioned that the team was aware that until Tinsley was gone, a lot of the fan base will stay away and a lot of prospective ticket holders were playing a "wait and see approach" before doing anything.

With fan appreciation night the last game of the season with heavily discounted tickets and the draft party, the Pacers are taking the steps necessary to win back the fan base. Once Tinsley is gone, I think a lot of people will reconsider coming back, especially depending upon how well the team does.

Peck
07-06-2008, 09:11 PM
As I said in my draft party follow up thread, the atmosphere was differant.

Honestly, I'm not kidding. I was telling everybody in our group that the main concourse was very festive and upbeat and it was not filled with families with little kids.

For the most part these were actual ticket buyers and fans and everybody I heard actually had a clue about the team.

As long as the team doesn't come out like 0-11 or something like that and we keep all of the players out of the police blotter then I would say that the past two seasons will start to turn around as far as the fan base goes.

I've seen the fans react to the team before when they were losing, they were apathetic at best and disdainfull at worst.

But these past two seasons have been totally differant, there was a real and actual palpable hatred of the team.

It wasn't just like "oh, you like the pacers? Wow they are a bunch of losers, you should follow I.U.".

It was more like "Oh, you like the Pacers? How can you support a team filled with thugs?"

Yes, yes I know most of them were totally ignorant and had no idea who was even on the team. But that was not the point. The point was that the non committed fan not only didn't care about the Pacers, they hated them.

In a perfect world none of us would have to care, but sadly the Pacers depend on the revenue brought in by the casual fan to survive.

But enough negative talk, I belive that this season will be differant.

Lord Helmet
07-07-2008, 12:46 AM
I'm feeling good. But I'm not putting my expectations high at all. I don't feel like getting burned anymore.

But I do feel we're at least trying to move in a new direction and era. I'll stop gushing now before I get too hyped.

LG33
07-07-2008, 01:25 AM
We weren't mentioned among ESPN's ten franchises most likely to move, so that's an accomplishment.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=3472902

Hornets, Kings, Grizzlies and Bucks appeared on the list from the NBA.

idioteque
07-07-2008, 07:47 PM
Hornets, Kings, Grizzlies and Bucks appeared on the list from the NBA.

I don't see where any of those teams would actually move. Paris, Rome, Milan, Beijing? Hey, it's no further from NY to London than it is from Miami to Portland according to Stern.

aceace
07-07-2008, 11:02 PM
If Mark Cuban bought the franchise, he would have a hard time moving it. The Field House is partially owned by the franchise (Simons) and moving the team would be very costly. It would probably be cheaper to start a new team and pay the fee.

duke dynamite
07-07-2008, 11:09 PM
If Mark Cuban bought the franchise, he would have a hard time moving it. The Field House is partially owned by the franchise (Simons) and moving the team would be very costly. It would probably be cheaper to start a new team and pay the fee.

Umm, the Capital Improvement Board owns the Fieldhouse.

Pacers Sports and Entertainment is leased the facility for $1 a year.