A year ago the Indiana Pacers were struggling to fill Bankers Life Fieldhouse, despite their success during the year. But, a 25-5 start to the 2013-14 season has brought with it a significant increase in attendance.
During the 2012-13 season, the Pacers averaged 15,269 fans per home game — 55 fans less than the Charlotte Bobcats — which ranked them 25th at the end of the season. Their attendance problem caught national attention and led to many national outlets wanting to know why Pacers fans chose to stay at home.
Many said it was too expensive to take their family to a game, let alone multiple games. It was the “fans” who complained the team was full of a bunch of thugs, and that unfortunately, became the talking point. Calling yourself a fan and then having zero knowledge of the team is another rant for another day, but it put a small damper on the Pacers’ amazing season.
Heading into this season, the Pacers season ticket sales were up 30 percent in October, something that wasn’t completely surprising after coming within one game of the NBA Finals. While many experts and fans believed Indiana would have an even better season in 2013, no one could have predicted the immediate success the team would have.
All the hype led to a sold out opener for the Pacers, followed by nine additional sold out home games. Ten sellouts, in 16 home games, matched the total number of sellouts from the entire 2012-13 season. The sellouts have helped increase the Pacers’ total attendance by 1,756 for an average of 17,025, and a league ranking of 18th.
The Pacers can fit 18,165 fans into Bankers Life Fieldhouse, which would still keep them outside the Top 10 this season, but if they continue to play at a high-caliber level then filling the Fieldhouse every night isn’t unthinkable.