First-Place Pacers Seeing Big Gains In Attendance, Ratings, Merchandise Sales
The Pacers currently hold the best record in the Eastern Conference at 40-11, and are "averaging nearly 17,300 fans per home game," which puts them on pace for their "highest attendance mark in 13 seasons," according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. Overall attendance is up 19% at Bankers Life Fieldhouse this year, marking the "second-biggest increase" in the league behind only the Kings. Pacers officials are "confident they’ll sell out every home playoff game." They said that ticket revenue "is up" more than 20%. Meanwhile, ratings for games on FS Indiana are up 138% over last season, marking is the "fourth-highest regional TV ratings increase among NBA teams." Broadcast experts think that Pacers ratings on FS Indiana "could be up" more than 150% over last year by season’s end. Attendance gains also are "spawning new and expanded sponsorship deals." Pacers Senior VP and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Todd Taylor said that sponsorship sales are up 30% this year and "up more than" 50% over two years ago. Pacers execs also said that merchandise sales are "double what they were last year." Additionally, the team's Facebook following has "grown from 375,000 in October to more than 1 million in January." Despite the team's "improved finances, Pacers officials continue to negotiate with the city’s Capital Improvement Board for financial assistance to help operate" Bankers Life Fieldhouse (INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 2/10 issue).