Figured this deserved it's own thread
Article comments from "average" Indianpolis sports fans that are quite interesting.http://www.indystar.com/article/201...sider-They-re-having-great-season-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 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.
"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?"
"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.
I'm not sure if Indy deserves a team anymore, people around here are so out of touch with the NBA today.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."