Indiana Pacers Rank #2 in Affordability: Will it bring fans back to Bankers Life Fieldhouse?

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

After analyzing pricing data for the league’s 30 teams, a consumer advocacy website called NerdWallet found that the Pacers rank second in terms of affordability. Will low prices and a championship caliber roster draw fans back to Indianapolis?

NerdWallet, a consumer advocacy website, recently conducted a study that analyzed pricing data from the NBA's 30 teams in order to rank them in terms of their affordability. Coming in at #2, the results of the study showed that the Indiana Pacers are one of the most affordable teams in the league behind only the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In order to cross compare the pricing data of all 30 teams, the consumer advocacy website created what they termed as a "Total Family Cost" (TFC) to measure affordability. Included in the "TFC" is the total price of four tickets purchased on the secondary market, two 16oz beers, two 16oz sodas, four hot dogs, and one parking space. After crunching the numbers, NerdWallet found that the "TFC" to attend a Pacers game for a family of four is $263.00. Notably, the findings show that the Pacers total cost is 40% below the league average ($442.28) and a whopping 70% less than the cost for a family to attend a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden ($878.20). The Cleveland Cavaliers boast the lowest "TFC" coming in at $222.67.

Of course, it should be pointed out that if a family of four chooses to attend one of the select Pacers' games on "Lucas Oil Family Night," said family will receive four tickets, four Pacers' gifts, and four family meals (hot dogs, chips, and a Pepsi product) for a mere total of $50.00 - a $136.00 value.

Even so, NerdWallet's comprehensive study closely corresponds with ESPN's "2013 Ultimate Standings," which named the Pacers the "Ultimate Bang for the Buck." According to ESPN's findings, the Indiana Pacers are one of only two teams in the NBA to sell tickets for only $5.00 (the Memphis Grizzlies being the other). At Bankers Life Fieldhouse, every Wednesday and Thursday is designated as "College Night" where students can get a ticket to the game and a Pacers' gift for only $10.00. Not to mention that on Tuesdays, Indiana Members Credit Union presents "Two for Tuesdays," which allows Pacers' fans that buy one ticket to get another ticket free. Additionally, ESPN notes that, since 2009, the Pacers have slashed average ticket prices by 27%. Due to the price reduction and increase in winning over the past five seasons, the Pacers skyrocketed from No. 70 to No.1 in the bang for the buck rankings.

While all of this affordability is good news for Pacers' fans, the important question for the franchise is whether the slash in prices will translate into greater attendance, or, as George Hill likes to say, more mustard in the stands. Thus far this season, the Pacers rank 22nd in home attendance averaging 15,870 fans per game. This is slightly up from last season when the Pacers ranked 25th averaging 15,269 fans per game. Due to Bankers Life Fieldhouse's capacity, the highest the Pacers' could rank league-wide in terms of attendance is 13th.

Consequently, the Pacers' still have a lot of room for improvement when it comes to drawing in fans. Be that as it may, the Pacers' Vice President of Sales, Todd Taylor, told the Indianapolis Star that season ticket packages (11 games or more) are up 30% from last year (put more simply, there are 1200 new ticket holders this season). Therefore, considering all of these factors and the notion that six home games is an extremely miniscule sample size, it is not far-fetched to believe the Pacers will see an increase in overall attendance in the coming months.

When you combine the franchise's affordability laid out by NerdWallet and the roster's status as a title contender, who would not want to watch this team play?

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