INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Winning basketball games on the court is making the Indiana Pacers winners at the box office.
Once, the team struggled to sell first round playoff seats. But this year is a lot different. When the team opened the ticket window to the general public Thursday there were only about 100 seats left to sell.
Fifteen minutes before the box office opened at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, there was a line waiting to buy tickets. Michael Austin was there.
“If they can just defend, protect the paint, they have a shot for the title. And if this is their title year, I want to be there,” said Austin.
And so do thousands of others. When you’re the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, ticket sales go a lot more smoothly.
“I typically joke in our area, we get a little bit smarter with every win. So these days we’re geniuses in the sales and marketing area,” said Todd Taylor, Senior Vice President of Marketing for the Indiana Pacers.
Taylor said very few tickets are sold at the box office these days. Most are sold online. And this year, most were sold to season ticket holders before the box office opened to the general public.
“It’s like any other business. It’s supply and demand. We have a lot of season seat holders now. So that allows less tickets available for the general public,” said Taylor.
The price for tickets, depends on how deep in the playoffs the team goes.
“This first round you can get balcony tickets starting at $20. The lower bowl is about $100 and it’s all based on availability,” said Taylor.
And this year, Pacers fans are willing to pay to see the team play.
Leon Woodson explains why.
“They’re a very good team. The whole team is doing good, especially Lance Stephenson, that’s my guy,” said Woodson.
It is that kind of bond with the team, that Taylor says along with winning, has helped ticket sales turn the corner, even during the regular season.
“We ended up being about 15th in the NBA. We are up pretty considerably. Package sales last year were 30 percent higher than the previous year. We sold out 28 of our games. So we’re very very happy,” Taylor said.
Taylor said some tickets that are held out for the other team and for other reasons, could be turned back. Those will then be put up for sale to the general public.
You can go to the Pacers website for continuing updates.