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Thread: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

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    Default Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    Great article by Mike Wells.

    http://www.indystar.com/article/2013...on-where-fans-

    The Indiana Pacers are sitting atop the Central Division. The New York Knicks are looking over their shoulders at the Pacers, who are just 1 1/2 games back for the second seed in the Eastern Conference.

    The Pacers have been model citizens on and off the court. Three players -- Roy Hibbert, George Hill and Paul George -- purchased season tickets for select fans to attend every home game for free.

    But where are the paying customers?

    Fans said they wouldn't return until there was both a competitive team on the court and a roster of players whose off-court behavior did not include visits to strip clubs.

    The Pacers followed suit by cleaning house and putting together a team the city would embrace.

    The fans?

    The Pacers are still waiting on them to hold up their end of the bargain.

    Look around Bankers Life Fieldhouse when teams other than Miami, Chicago or the Los Angeles Lakers are in town.

    There are lots of empty green seats in the building even though the Pacers bring a 15-game home winning streak into Friday's game with Toronto.

    About the only green owner Herb Simon wants to see is the kind with Ulysses S. Grant and Benjamin Franklin on it.

    The slogan goes, "In 49 states, it's just basketball. But this is Indiana." That must be a reference to the Indiana Hoosiers rather than the Pacers, who continue to be among the NBA bottom feeders in attendance. They are currently 26th in the NBA, averaging 14,592 fans in a building that seats 18,165.

    The Pacers have had just four sellouts this season; opening night, both Miami games and against Chicago earlier this week.

    While they have increased attendance by 1,320 fans a game from last season, that's still not enough.

    "It's very disappointing," Pacers guard and Indianapolis-native George Hill said. "The fans show up when we play the marquee teams, but they show up wearing the marquee team's clothes. We feed off them. As much as we can get people there, the better off we're going to be."

    Fans had every right to stay from the fieldhouse during what Larry Bird admitted was a long rebuilding period. The Pacers were an embarrassment at times to the city. The problems ran the gamut from guns and strip clubs to hanging with people wanted on murder charges.

    Having to call Pacers media relations guru David Benner during the early morning hours after the Pacers had yet another run-in with the law got old pretty quick.

    Those days have become distant memories.

    The Pacers are headed back to the playoffs for the third straight season with players who care about the community.

    "That's what bothers me," Hill said. "We're doing the right thing. We're staying out of trouble, being positive role models in the community. Just like when we're out in public, fans want autographs and pictures. What do we get out the deal?"

    Even always-upbeat coach Frank Vogel has noticed the lack of attendance.

    "I'm hopeful that all you Pacers fans sitting at home watching on TV start coming out and seeing us because this is a special team that we're putting together here," he said after only 12,578 showed up for Tuesday's victory over Atlanta. "We're playing at a special level, and I look forward to seeing those crowds start getting up."

    It's no secret that times are tough around the economy. The Pacers understand that, too. They have offered a variety of ticket promotions this season. Some have featured such heavy discounts that the tickets have been close to free.

    Overall, the Pacers' average ticket price is 60 percent less than the league norm, according to data compiled by the Pacers.

    "I would love to go to more games, but would prefer not to sit in the balcony," Eric O'Hair of Crawfordsville, Ind., wrote in an email. "The club level seems too overpriced and the Pacers should realize this by now. We live in a 'blue-collar state' and they are charging 'white-collar prices.' The business formula is simple and they are not following it. If (they) can't sell the tickets, drop the prices."

    Renny Harrison, owner of FanFare tickets in Carmel, said he usually has dirt cheap tickets for sale when the Pacers aren't playing one of the league's heavyweight teams.

    There are upper-level tickets starting at $5 for the Feb. 13 game against Charlotte. Lower level tickets are available for as low as $12.

    "Unfortunately when it's a week night game against a team that nobody cares about, people tend not to go," Harrison said. "We would love to sell more tickets just like the Pacers would love to have more people show up. It's unfortunate."

    The Colts season is over. IU, Butler and Purdue only play a couple of times a week

    It's time to get on the bus.

    The Pacers have done their job.

    Now it's up to the fans to get on, too.

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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    LOL you can get club tickets for like 40 bucks some nights. I'm sorry but that is not a white collar price for a great seat with in seat food service at a sporting event these days. Dude from Crawfordsville is out to lunch.

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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    This is a very easy team to get behind. This team is the epitome of an Indiana basketball team. These guys are far from ostentatious like many pro athletes are. These guys play their hearts out every game. The fans want a player to get behind like Reggie Miller, Paul George is that guy according to Reggie, himself.

    You can get into the whole supply and demand of an NFL season to an NBA season (8 home games to 41), but the Colts are one of the few teams who actually sells out every game and even exceed the capacity. You would think at least a quarter of those people would attend Pacers games more frequently. Especially since prices to Pacers games are very reasonable.

    I do make a trip to Indy for 3 games a season, so yes, I do contribute as best as I can in supporting this team in person, as well as cheer them on for road games.

    Hopefully frequent sellouts are near because this is ridiculous, Indy. The Pacers are legitimate title contenders.

    The Pacers used to draw so well when they were title contenders in the late 90's and early 2000's. Also, during the recent playoffs, it was standing room only. Where are they now?
    Last edited by Trophy; 02-07-2013 at 03:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    Wells doesn't get it. It costs $200 for a family of 4 for tickets in crappy seats in the balcony, you HAVE to buy a full meal at the Fieldhouse for another $200, plus there's the Gift Shop where if you don't spend $100 on a jersey you're a Bad Dad. Add the $50 for parking anywhere within the mile square and no one other than the rich can afford to go to a game.

    Compare that to Lucas Oil Stadium, where they give tickets away for free, all food and drink are included, every seat is 3 rows back on the 50 yard line, and they pay you to park. Oh, and jerseys are $1.50 unless they are on sale for fifty cents.

    Never mind that Jim Irsay pays the CIB billions of dollars per year for the privilege of having a team in town, while the Simons have long been part of an Evil Empire turning the thriving 1970s-era downtown Indianapolis into a wasteland in order to send the money extracted from the poor and homeless of the city via the CIB to their Crystal Palace in California.

    Don't know why anyone would support such a bunch of bums. Run 'em out of town and let the Fieldhouse be used nightly for all the things that would sell the place out and bring business to downtown if it just wasn't for those damn thugs.
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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    Having good support from the new media here in town would help a great deal!

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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    The comments on this article are the Epitome of people who just have no idea about the team. Here, I will post some.


    Wade Yensel- "The problem lies in the fees added onto the ticket price. Yes a ticket may be $5 or $10, but the ticket agencies add $5-$20 fees per ticket. On top of the fact if you want a drink or something to eat, you are spending another $20. Not to mention paying to park somewhere, thats an additional $5-$20. Its not just about the price of tickets, but the whole experience that turns a lot of folks away. eliminate some of these other fees that make one pacers game my monthly "fun" budget and I might consider going to a game. As others will mention, its not like the people of Indianapolis are breaking the bank on their paycheck"


    Liz Warsaw- "Unfortunately Indy has always been a city that only has enough bandwagon fans for 1 team at a time...Colts are king for now..."

    Michael Hart- "I want to go to a game. I was actually on the phone with my dad last night talking about how I want to go to a game when I'm home from college on spring break. I don't think ticket prices are that unreasonable. If you go to any other game in the country, you're going to wind up spending a stupid amount of money on food and parking. And you can avoid the fees by buying tickets directly from the box office."

    Benjamin Fugate- "Liz Warsaw is correct, Indy can support only one pro team"

    Conor Lee-"I love the Pacers and the NBA game. But many old-school fans are turned off by the NBA in general. I have a feeling unless the Pacers land a marquee player, or make a seriously deep playoff run (Finals?), the fans will never return to those empty seats. Indiana fans like basketball, just not the NBA's version of basketball."

    Greg Candler-"With me it's not the Pacer's fault; it's th NBA in general. I used to go to a couple of dozen games a season (with the playoffs included) but as time passed, the personalities of the players became "thuggish", tough guy, and elitist in nature. Shoot, Reggie was that way, but the rest of the team from that era felt family-accessible to the community. I used to take the the family to the BEST Locker Room rstaurant after the gaes and the kids woud meet an talk to Rik Smits, Dale Davis, Antonio Davis, Mark Jackson, Isiah Thomas and Larry Bird to name the poular ones. Nice guys; not tough guys. Call me an old geezer, but I just do not care for the product. And say what you will, I know a ton of people who agree with me."

    Scott Pletcher- "I agree Greg... I stopped following the NBA about 10 years ago. The 'hip-hop' nature of the league, as it is now, is not entertaining to me. I know that NBA players are great athletes and can do incredible things on the court but I just don't see a lot of 'basketball' being played. It's all "look at me", one-on-one, isolation skills that get old really fast. I'll take college hoops any day of the week over the NBA. (Although College is starting to show signs of following in the NBAs footsteps) I still love the Pacers and hope they do well... just not going to go see any NBA games anytime soon."

    Josh Boeke- "I've been to a couple Pacers games this season, but honestly it's more out of a sense of fan obligation than actual excitement to attend the game and I'm a guy who never misses a game on TV. The simple fact of the HD era in sports is that 9 out of 10 times the home experience is just as good if not better than the stadium experience (sure there's the occasional game that you really wish you were in the arena, but those are few and far between). Maybe others will disagree with me on that but I've been to plenty of Pacers games in my life and nearly every time I find myself sitting in an uncomfortable arena chair sipping a $7 beer and trying to make my $6 hot dog last as long as possible while watching the majority of the game on the in arena monitors because the view is better anyway. Regular season NBA games are not generally super exciting to watch in person, they just aren't.

    When are we going to move past the "ticket sales equals loyalty" paradigm of sports fandom? I like George Hill but did he seriously ask what they get out of the deal for signing a few autographs and not getting into trouble off the court? Is his salary any lower because there are 4,000 empty seats in the stadium? I don't really understand where he's coming from. If the tickets are $5 how much money is really being lost (4,000 x 5 x 82 = 1.6 million, or roughly the amount of money that Miles Plumlee will be paid this season)?

    They're 20-3 at home and 11-16 on the road, so obviously there's enough fans to give them an advantage. I get that the Pacers are putting out a good product and need support, but as someone who never misses a game on TV it's kind of insulting to suggest we're bad fans just because we don't attend games. Even if people could afford it (and let's be real Mr. Wells, ticket prices are only 1 of the many costs to attend a live sporting event), unless you really love live sports it's just not that appealing when you could enjoy the game in HD from home and save considerable time and money doing so.

    Shaming fans for not attending a sporting event is kind of absurd to me. It's entertainment, if they want to go and they can afford it they will, if they don't, that's up to them. I would never call someone a bad music fan just because they bought the albums but didn't enjoy the live concert experience.

    That's my 2 cents."

    Kevin Sobiski- "You would think if the Pacers had another good playoff run, the fans would start turning out. But another issue might be there is no face to the franchise. People loved Reggie Miller and came out just for him. Look at the Colts. They lost 10,000 fans when Manning left. The closest thing the Pacers have now is Granger, and he is hurt. Some people mention the ticket prices, but the Pacers are one of the biggest bargains in the NBA. So, continue to win to create national buzz. That will get them on CBS so more people will be aware of them. Also, Paul George is an All-Star. Play that up for all it's worth."


    So, there are some opinions of "average" Indianapolis sports fans.


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    Last edited by boombaby1987; 02-07-2013 at 04:05 PM.

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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    Wells doesn't get it. It costs $200 for a family of 4 for tickets in crappy seats in the balcony, you HAVE to buy a full meal at the Fieldhouse for another $200, plus there's the Gift Shop where if you don't spend $100 on a jersey you're a Bad Dad. Add the $50 for parking anywhere within the mile square and no one other than the rich can afford to go to a game.

    Compare that to Lucas Oil Stadium, where they give tickets away for free, all food and drink are included, every seat is 3 rows back on the 50 yard line, and they pay you to park. Oh, and jerseys are $1.50 unless they are on sale for fifty cents.

    Never mind that Jim Irsay pays the CIB billions of dollars per year for the privilege of having a team in town, while the Simons have long been part of an Evil Empire turning the thriving 1970s-era downtown Indianapolis into a wasteland in order to send the money extracted from the poor and homeless of the city via the CIB to their Crystal Palace in California.

    Don't know why anyone would support such a bunch of bums. Run 'em out of town and let the Fieldhouse be used nightly for all the things that would sell the place out and bring business to downtown if it just wasn't for those damn thugs.
    I wish I could thank this post so many times.

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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    5,000+ people are insane for not taking advantage of the Tuesday twofers.

    That's a great deal and who cares if it's Tuesday, you're getting two tickets for the price of one to see one of the NBA's best and possibly a team that will win a title in the near future.


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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    Waiting for the first person to start dogging George Hill for speaking the truth...
    Grown Man Ball

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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    Wells doesn't get it. It costs $200 for a family of 4 for tickets in crappy seats in the balcony, you HAVE to buy a full meal at the Fieldhouse for another $200, plus there's the Gift Shop where if you don't spend $100 on a jersey you're a Bad Dad. Add the $50 for parking anywhere within the mile square and no one other than the rich can afford to go to a game.

    Compare that to Lucas Oil Stadium, where they give tickets away for free, all food and drink are included, every seat is 3 rows back on the 50 yard line, and they pay you to park. Oh, and jerseys are $1.50 unless they are on sale for fifty cents.

    Never mind that Jim Irsay pays the CIB billions of dollars per year for the privilege of having a team in town, while the Simons have long been part of an Evil Empire turning the thriving 1970s-era downtown Indianapolis into a wasteland in order to send the money extracted from the poor and homeless of the city via the CIB to their Crystal Palace in California.

    Don't know why anyone would support such a bunch of bums. Run 'em out of town and let the Fieldhouse be used nightly for all the things that would sell the place out and bring business to downtown if it just wasn't for those damn thugs.
    It seems a lot of people in your age group are the ones that are against NBA basketball in general. Why do you think that is?

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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    Wells doesn't get it. It costs $200 for a family of 4 for tickets in crappy seats in the balcony, you HAVE to buy a full meal at the Fieldhouse for another $200, plus there's the Gift Shop where if you don't spend $100 on a jersey you're a Bad Dad. Add the $50 for parking anywhere within the mile square and no one other than the rich can afford to go to a game.

    Compare that to Lucas Oil Stadium, where they give tickets away for free, all food and drink are included, every seat is 3 rows back on the 50 yard line, and they pay you to park. Oh, and jerseys are $1.50 unless they are on sale for fifty cents.

    Never mind that Jim Irsay pays the CIB billions of dollars per year for the privilege of having a team in town, while the Simons have long been part of an Evil Empire turning the thriving 1970s-era downtown Indianapolis into a wasteland in order to send the money extracted from the poor and homeless of the city via the CIB to their Crystal Palace in California.

    Don't know why anyone would support such a bunch of bums. Run 'em out of town and let the Fieldhouse be used nightly for all the things that would sell the place out and bring business to downtown if it just wasn't for those damn thugs.
    you gotta be kidding me....theres no way parking in Indy is $50
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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    Well the TV ratings are higher aren't they? The reason the Colts can sell out is there are fewer games and to the casual fan the NBA regular season isn't as exciting as the NFL season.

    When the Pacers play the bigger teams it brings that Playoff atmosphere and hype and the local fans come out to usually what I see as pro-Pacers crowds, which wasn't the case 3 years ago.

    I don't blame people for saving money when we play the likes of the Bobcats at home. We keep winning though and I expect even those games to pick up, crowd-wise.

    The Fieldhouse was electric against the Heat, the loudest I had heard it in a long time and it had to be 95% Pacers fans. I'm not that worried. The fans around here are back on the wagon, I think.

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    Cool Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trophy View Post
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    This is a very easy team to get behind. This team is the epitome of an Indiana basketball team. These guys are far from ostentatious like many pro athletes are. These guys play their hearts out every game. The fans want a player to get behind like Reggie Miller, Paul George is that guy according to Reggie, himself.

    You can get into the whole supply and demand of an NFL season to an NBA season (8 home games to 41), but the Colts are one of the few teams who actually sells out every game and even exceed the capacity. You would think at least a quarter of those people would attend Pacers games more frequently. Especially since prices to Pacers games are very reasonable.

    I do make a trip to Indy for 3 games a season, so yes, I do contribute as best as I can in supporting this team in person, as well as cheer them on for road games.

    Hopefully frequent sellouts are near because this is ridiculous, Indy. The Pacers are legitimate title contenders.

    The Pacers used to draw so well when they were title contenders in the late 90's and early 2000's. Also, during the recent playoffs, it was standing room only. Where are they now?
    I believe it is a problem caused by the blow-up several years ago when everyone called Pacers player thugs. A considerable number of fans in Indy wrote the Pacers off for good. I have done that myself with the Colts. These fans are never coming back no matter what happens or how much the Pacers win. I know I will get blasted for this but some of it is absolutely racial. I have heard fans in Indy say, "Why would I want to go watch a team of all black guys play basketball." They also say, "The NBA is all black guys with disgusting tattoos who look like human bill boards with their baggy pants that look like the shorts blacks where that come down to their ankles and have to be pinned up." This is not me because I could care less if they black, green or blue if they play well. But I have heard a lot of these kinds of statements in Indy. Football is different and the Irsay monster made sure he got a white QB for what I believe is this very reason. I am sure the mods will cut this post because they don't like to think about these things or have discussions about them. I don't mean it as negative about the Pacers but about Indy fans in general. I am sure everyone will disagree but college basketball is not as popular as it used to be and this is part of the problem there too........ Just my opinion guys. I hope I am wrong but I am sure that I am not. ... Find another Larry Bird (I know he never played for the Pacers) or a Dutchman center. Add five white guys to this team and let the record drop ten games per year and you will have more fan support than you do now.....

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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    Quote Originally Posted by MillerTime View Post
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    you gotta be kidding me....theres no way parking in Indy is $50
    His whole post is extremely sarcastic. The sad part some people have it in their minds that is how it is.

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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    Quote Originally Posted by MillerTime View Post
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    you gotta be kidding me....theres no way parking in Indy is $50
    You're right, I checked. Except for times when the Colts are playing, you can't get a parking place for less than $75. Those same places are subsidized by the Colts so that there are guys standing on the corners with wads of cash to give you to entice you to park there for Colts games.
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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    Quote Originally Posted by OlBlu View Post
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    I believe it is a problem caused by the blow-up several years ago when everyone called Pacers player thugs. A considerable number of fans in Indy wrote the Pacers off for good. I have done that myself with the Colts. These fans are never coming back no matter what happens or how much the Pacers win. I know I will get blasted for this but some of it is absolutely racial. I have heard fans in Indy say, "Why would I want to go watch a team of all black guys play basketball." They also say, "The NBA is all black guys with disgusting tattoos who look like human bill boards with their baggy pants that look like the shorts blacks where that come down to their ankles and have to be pinned up." This is not me because I could care less if they black, green or blue if they play well. But I have heard a lot of these kinds of statements in Indy. Football is different and the Irsay monster made sure he got a white QB for what I believe is this very reason. I am sure the mods will cut this post because they don't like to think about these things or have discussions about them. I don't mean it as negative about the Pacers but about Indy fans in general. I am sure everyone will disagree but college basketball is not as popular as it used to be and this is part of the problem there too........ Just my opinion guys. I hope I am wrong but I am sure that I am not. ... Find another Larry Bird (I know he never played for the Pacers) or a Dutchman center. Add five white guys to this team and let the record drop ten games per year and you will have more fan support than you do now.....
    I believe this is very much a sad and valid point, regardless of whether people will admit to it or not, except for the part about a team of primarily white players who sucked, drawing better than our team now. (Thanks Solozzo)
    Last edited by boombaby1987; 02-07-2013 at 05:25 PM.

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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    I don't expect us to sellout EVERY game, but at least 90% capacity on average is more than acceptable.

    Last edited by Trophy; 02-07-2013 at 04:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    I wish they gave the real attendance every night. Not the made up one.

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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    Quote Originally Posted by MillerTime View Post
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    you gotta be kidding me....theres no way parking in Indy is $50
    I believe Bill is referencing an article/blog post or something from a bit back in which the writer basically stated a family of four couldn't get to a game for less than $500, then broke it down similar to what Bill did.

    Sarcasm, I believe.

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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    Amen.

    Saddens me that people in Indiana only support High School and College basketball. Basketball is in our blood. The Pacers should be too. I don't get it. I'd have season tickets if I still lived in Indiana. Argh! So frustrating more people don't support the Pacers. They are a good and classy franchise. There aren't many like that.
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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    Quote Originally Posted by boombaby1987 View Post
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    It seems a lot of people in your age group are the ones that are against NBA basketball in general. Why do you think that is?
    To be perfectly honest, if I hadn't grown up a Pacers fan I think I'd be against the NBA basketball brand as well. I don't care for the loud music and off-the-court shownanigans (sic), I don't like the complete redefinition of traveling to mean anything over 2 steps (with exceptions for some players), I don't like the star power calls and hype. I started to really lose respect for it when Jordan became untouchable, and when Shaq was allowed to lower his shoulder and run over defenders because "that was his game".

    I just love my home-town team. Which makes me a LOT different than the typical Indiana casual fan in my age group, who don't have that impetus to overcome their disdain for the NBA game - and I can't really blame them for that. It's the crying about how expensive it is and believing a few bucks entitles you to a great seat (I actually DO agree about the food prices, but come on, arena food has ALWAYS been ridiculous and when I was growing up you grabbed something BEFORE the game).

    There are people who have very good reasons; there are other people who repeat those reasons by rote and make them into excuses.
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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    Quote Originally Posted by boombaby1987 View Post
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    I wish they gave the real attendance every night. Not the made up one.
    It's calculated by the number of tickets purchased.

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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post
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    I believe Bill is referencing an article/blog post or something from a bit back in which the writer basically stated a family of four couldn't get to a game for less than $500, then broke it down similar to what Bill did.

    Sarcasm, I believe.
    Tully, who said that it would cost a family of 4 $150 to see a game from the balcony, not counting parking and food.
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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    I'm not disagreeing in any way that the attendance is bad.

    I would point out that, in terms of "percentage of stadium filled" the Pacers sit at 22nd. Still awful, yes. However, that takes into consideration what the actual target is (Not 20,000, rather, 100% of the seats filled.)

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    Default Re: Wells: They're having a great season, so where are the fans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post
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    Sarcasm, I believe.
    Me? Sarcasm?

    Perish the thought.
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