A look at the Pacers roster for the team’s season opener in Charlotte, which they officially announced on Tuesday, reveals 15 players that are quite familiar to Pacers fans. Sure there are new faces, with rookies Chris Duarte and Isaiah Jackson and free agent rotation fillers, Torrey Craig and Brad Wanamaker among the 15, but the rest of the crew was around for last season which everyone wants to forget.
In order to move forward, the Pacers organization is seizing on a fresh start narrative, starting with a new and very competent coaching staff, headed by Rick Carlisle. There is also the reminder that last season was strange with so few fans, so the team tapped Jermaine O’Neal to narrate a “comeback” video to sell fans on the value of their return to the Fieldhouse while the team tries to comeback from a disappointing season. O’Neal serving a prominent role in the video, itself an amazing comeback with the organization.
Then there is Gainbridge Fieldhouse getting a fresh start with a new name and a new look inside with the completion of the second phase of renovations to improve on modernize the building. The “Fieldhouse of the Future” them reminds fans that the work is not done, but there will be plenty to enjoy with the new features enhancing the fan experience.
Among the new features at the Fieldhouse is an upgrade to food options which the team has been promoting this week, as well. There will be contactless food stations to pick up snack and a variety of beverages via electronic payment that allows fans to grab and go with their goodies and get back to the game. There will be new options at concession stands and even local minority chefs taking turns selling their options throughout the year.
While the streets and exterior of the Fieldhouse will remain under construction to greet fans, the new creature comforts inside will make for a great experience.
Even better if the team on the court can cash in on those comeback hopes and really bring the Fieldhouse back to life with their play on the court.