In Indianapolis, Alex Campbell wrote under the header, “Why Don’t We Give The Pacers More Love?” The club has “what can best be described as an enthusiasm gap,” and “no one feels that any more profoundly than the Pacers themselves.” The team's attendance is “second-worst overall in the league and fourth-worst if you take it by percentage of capacity.” But it is “slowly climbing, up 600 seats per game compared with last year.” Ratings for games shown on FS Indiana have “improved by 50 percent in two seasons from an average audience of 17,760 in 2009-10 to 26,640 this season.” Pacers Merchandise Dir Gary Nelson said that sales are "up 42 percent compared with last year.” Sales on pacersgear.com are also up 62% and the team ranks “eighth in the league in per-capita in-game sales this year.” Pacers Sports & Entertainment VP/Corporate, Public & Community Relations Greg Schenkel said, "We are trending in the right direction here" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 4/28).
ANTE UP: Bills Senior VP/Business Development Bruce Popko said that it “is likely the Bills will reach out to most, if not all, of the regional casinos” after the NFL’s recent ruling to allow casino advertising. In Buffalo, James Fink noted the Bills’ regional footprint “extends from Syracuse to Toronto,” and in that area “are a number of casinos." Seneca Gaming Senior VP/Marketing Jim Wise said that his company “is waiting to talk with the Bills before deciding what, if any, ads his organization will undertake.” Seneca Gaming “already leases a luxury suite” at Ralph Wilson Stadium (Buffalo BUSINESS FIRST, 4/27 issue).
HELPING HAND: In Oakland, Jerry McDonald notes the Raiders “have announced a season ticket plan they hope will help fill the stadium and assist the Oakland public schools at the same time.” For new season tickets purchased and paid in full between May 1 and June 30, the Raiders will donate 10% of the “gross ticket purchase price to the Oakland Unified School District.” Season tickets start at $260 each (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 4/30). SI.com's Peter King wrote, "I love what the Raiders did over the weekend." The donation "should help motivate all fans thinking of buying seats to do so in the next two months." King: "It's a tremendous cause, for those who aren't familiar with the needy school district. And I applaud the Raiders for stepping up to the plate" (SI.com, 4/30).