SBD/May 10, 2013/Franchises

Rivalry Renewed: Pacers Poised To Sell Out Games Three, Four Of Knicks Series

Attendance at Bankers Life Fieldhouse increased 7.7% during the regular season
The Pacers will host Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Knicks Saturday, and Pacers Sports & Entertainment Senior VP and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Todd Taylor said that the contest will "be a 'gold out' and sold out," according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. Taylor said phone operators were "really busy" Tuesday dealing with ticket requests and called this the "best excitement I’ve seen in the market since I’ve been here." Schoettle noted the Pacers since Tuesday in addition to "selling a slew of game three tickets" have "sold 50 new season ticket packages for next year." Game 4 in the series also is "on its way to selling out." The Pacers "sold out all three first-round home playoff games against Atlanta, but there were between 1,000 and 1,500 empty seats for each of those games." The "strong playoff ticket sales come on the heels of a 7.7 percent regular season attendance increase this year over last year." The Pacers this year "averaged 15,269 for 41 home games, compared to 14,168 for 33 home games during last year’s lockout-shortened season." The franchise "jumped from 29th of 30 NBA teams in attendance last season, to 25th this year." Taylor: "The community is enthusiastic about this team right now, and we’re still gaining momentum. Now we need to convert our fans into more season-ticket buyers. That’s our goal" (IBJ.com, 5/8).

PACERS MADE BLUEPRINT FOR KINGS: In Sacramento, Ailene Voisin writes with the Kings' future uncertain, Pacers fans "could write the textbook on how stubborn, small-market communities overcome the odds, fight off threats of extinction and relocation, and attract a billionaire owner and partner on an 18,000-seat downtown fieldhouse that is part shrine, part museum." When people enter Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the first time, they "don't know whether to bow or bless" themselves. Voisin: "Mostly, you stand and stare, amazed and admiring" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 5/10). Voisin added there is "no basketball facility that remotely compares with the authenticity of the Hoosiers-themed Bankers Life Fieldhouse." The arena seats just over 18,000 and "actually feels like a place built for basketball" (SACBEE.com, 5/9).
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