The End of the Indiana Pacers?

March 13, 2009 in Basketball, Indiana Pacers, NBA by pacejmiller

I’ve abandoned the Indiana Pacers on my blog for a little while, and it seems I’m not the only one.  Recent chatter suggests it could be the end for my favourite NBA team, and I don’t mean for the season (which everyone already knows has ended for them).  – I mean for good.

Shudder.  It’s not something I ever contemplated before, but it seems the Pacers have been in financial difficulty for quite some time, even way before the start of the global economic meltdown.  It’s really sad that a state with as rich a basketball tradition as Indiana would abandon its basketball team.

Conseco Fieldhouse (home of the Pacers) had the lowest NBA attendance last season and is only slightly better this season.  The team has also lost money in 9 of the last 10 years.  According Indy Cornrolls, a Pacers blog, it was reported that the Pacers have lost money in 25 of the last 27 years.  How is this possible?  For most of the 90s up to their NBA Finals appearance in 2000, the Pacers were perennial contenders for the Eastern Conference Crown, and had several deep runs into the playoffs in sold-out arenas.

Of course, the team bears much of the blame.  Ever since the Detroit Brawl, the Pacers have had one of the worst images in the NBA.  The curse doesn’t appear to have left them though, despite managing to get rid of all of the trouble-players except Jamal Tinsley (and to a lesser extent, Marquis Daniels, who has somewhat redeemed himself as of late).  Unless the team starts moving up the ladder and make some playoff appearances, it doesn’t look like the situation is going to improve any time soon.

What are the other options?  As Vice President Pat Early says:  “It’s possible they could move the team.  It’s possible they could sell the team. It is also possible they could shut the team down. What’s not possible is the Pacers losing the kind of money they’re losing this year indefinitely.”

Let’s hope it doesn’t come down to any of those things.