View Full Version : Pacers work to maintain attendance

02-05-2010, 02:07 PM

(Mike Wells)

The Indiana Pacers' attendance is down about 300 fans per game from last season.

That's better than most NBA teams. Just 10 teams have posted a gain this season, and through Sunday's games, attendance around the league has dropped about 4 percent.

The Pacers have had five sellouts and are averaging 13,861 fans, 26th in the league. They ranked 28th at 14,182 last season. The Pacers were one of eight teams that sold more than 2,000 new full-season ticket packages, though the team wouldn't say how many season ticket-holders it has.

Winning is the easy fix to sell more tickets. The Pacers' marketing and ticketing departments have taken a different approach in their sales tactics.

The Pacers have "fan-friendly" prices, though that means the franchise continues to lose money.

They lowered ticket prices from last season and offer numerous opportunities to buy tickets at a steeper discount.

"We're trying to look at any possible thing we can, short of giving tickets away for free, to make sure people have a chance to come to games," Pacers Sports & Entertainment's chief operating officer Rick Fuson said. "We're responding to the economy, to the needs and desires of the people that want to come to the game."

The Pacers also have mini- and half-season packages and they average about 3,100 group tickets a game.

The Pacers aren't alone. Good teams and bad are offering discounts to survive the tough economy.

Denver, which has the second-best record in the Western Conference, has a "Guys Night Out" where men can purchase two tickets, two beers and two T-shirts for $49, and "Youth Night," where kids under 16 with an adult get in free. Sacramento had $1 beer, soda and water night earlier this season.

Charlotte built a marketing effort around All-Star Game slam-dunk participant Gerald Wallace. The "Wallace All-Star Two-Pack" sells for $33. Milwaukee has all-you-can-eat on Friday and Sunday. Minnesota has a $5 college night on Wednesday and the first 100 students are upgraded to the lower bowl.

All jokes aside, the lowly New Jersey Nets are offering buy one-get one free tickets.

The Pacers offer plenty of deals, including:

A special military offer where active duty members can get balcony tickets for $5 and club level tickets for $10.

Old National Bank and Indiana Members Credit Union offered deals where members could buy one ticket and get one free.

Lucas Oil Family Night, where fans get a T-shirt and a coupon for a hot dog, chips and a drink for every ticket purchased.

Pacers employees are encouraged to give free tickets to kids in the community wearing Pacers merchandise.

"We meet every week and talk about plans every week," Fuson said. "The research we did before the season with (pollster) Frank Luntz shows that the community really likes our guys and really has a hope for this team.

"We're grateful for the community for supporting us day in and day out through these tough times.

02-05-2010, 02:33 PM
Tuesday seemed to be about the lowest attended game in the last two years.

02-05-2010, 03:45 PM
10000 people
$30 per person

not so hot compared to
8000 people
x$50 per person

There's a reason we get stories about NBA ATTENDANCE this year rather than revenue.

Next year nothing but sell outs:
21000 people
$1 tickets
Woo hoo ;)

Don't worry, they'll make it up in food and shirt sales. You know, because people that buy $40 seats can't afford food like people that buy $1 tickets can.

02-05-2010, 03:47 PM
Tuesday seemed to be about the lowest attended game in the last two years.

I said that while we were sitting there. It was pretty bad. I wonder what tonight will be like with the weather.

02-05-2010, 03:49 PM
I said that while we were sitting there. It was pretty bad. I wonder what tonight will be like with the weather.

It's a Friday. It won't be worse.

02-05-2010, 03:51 PM
It's a Friday. It won't be worse.

Yeah, I don't expect it to be worse.

the jaddler
02-06-2010, 11:16 AM
so how long before the start giving tickets away this season?

02-06-2010, 12:28 PM
well I've gotten several free tickets this year because we are blue and gold members. Also they give free tickets quite often on Facebook, especially to tuesday and wednesday night games. Though we don't always take advantage of the free offers, because we are seat snobs. We already have the best seats in the balcony for our 10 game package. So we only take club level tickets for free.

the jaddler
02-06-2010, 12:30 PM
yeah i know about all the free tickets......just wondered when the Pacers entertainment was going to start just giving them to anyone!!!

the jaddler
02-06-2010, 12:30 PM
whats blue and gold?

02-06-2010, 01:43 PM
people who bought a ticket package.