Pacers have worst attendance in NBA
While the Pacers still have a shot at the playoffs, they've already claimed a different title with the worst attendance in the league.
Just down from Conseco Fieldhouse, Amber Kaiser gets Coaches Tavern ready for the lunch crowd and later Pacer fans.
"It's busier this year compared to years past," she said.
Maybe that's true at the tavern, but not the Fieldhouse. According to ESPN, the Pacers rank 30th or dead last in NBA attendance. This season they've averaged just under 13,500 fans per game. That's the lowest since 2008 when attendance averaged just over 12,000.
"I think most fans don't watch the games anymore unless their team is winning," said one visitor at Coaches Tavern.
"The fact of the matter is we haven't made the playoffs for several years, people have had some concerns about our team and we've listened," said Jim Morris, Pacers Sports & Entertainment.
The Pacers Jim Morris says they're making strides - with some new players, a new coach and even a new fan club. Roy Hibbert's Area 55 has been pumping up the crowd all season long.
."Larry Bird has been giving it everything he has every minute of every day to get this back to a point where we compete for the championship," said Morris.
Attendance isn't the only number the Pacers have struggled with. Forbes magazine puts the team value at $269 million or 27th in the 30-team league, with operating revenue down about $17 million.
"Those numbers are not accurate," said Morris.
Still, Morris says the Pacers are still losing money, though not as much as last year. That's due in part due to a three-year $30 million deal with the city to help pay for operating Conseco Fieldhouse - a deal that will have to be revisited in two years.
"The objective is to keep the Indiana Pacers and the Indiana Fever in Indianapolis forever," said Morris.