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Pacers Improve 2013-14 Game Night Experience

by Scott Agness | @ScottAgness

November 6, 2013

The Pacers’ 2013-14 season is underway. And with a new season, new items and an improved experience at Bankers Life Fieldhouse follows. Here’s what you need to know about attending Pacers games this season.

SECURITY

Fans are allowed to carry in bags no larger than 14x14x8. Everything is subject to inspection. The Pacers work with both the league and city police to ensure that you have a safe and pleasant experience.

Pacers security asks you to always be aware of counterfeit tickets, particularly if you opt to buy from a non-reputable dealer.

IN SEAT

For most games, doors open an hour before the game, which is plenty of time to visit the concessions, watch the team warm up and enjoy the pregame festivities and videos on the giant video board.

Much of what you expect at home games remains in tact, like the Pacemates, High Octane Drumline, Boom Babies, Pacers Cheer Pals and the Power Pack.

The Pacers encourage you to post photos on Twitter and Instagram using the new hashtag #PacersGameNight. They will then appear on the video board at various times throughout the game.

Following the rave reviews from both fans and the team, there’s now a DJ at each home game. They’ll rotate between six different ones to start the season and trim it down as the year progresses.

Many new features will launch later in the season to provide a complete interactive experience. That includes answering questions on your phone and immediately impacting results on the screen, etc.

The Pacers’ broadcast staff will showcase more highlight packages. They’ll also show more replays and get to them faster thanks to improvements behind the scenes.

In previous seasons, it was always the players getting the crowd hyped for the fourth quarter. This season, you can be part of the fourth quarter rally video by recording your own message at a booth in the concourse of the Fieldhouse.

TECHNOLOGY

With nearly everyone having a smartphone in today’s world, having a workable second screen is essential. WiFi throughout the Fieldhouse was rolled out last season during a soft launch, and now the network is bigger than ever.

They’ve added additional capacity on the club level and in the Krieg DeVault Club Level suites. Access points were placed on the video board to focus on to the important first 11 rows, as well as the bottom for concerts and other events when the board is raised to the ceiling.

The login process isn’t too difficult and the best part is, once you’re in the system, you are remembered and don’t have to log on each visit. You can sign up using your email address, phone number or social media. The Pacers are hoping for an adoption rate of 25-35 percent. In comparison, the Barclays Center had a 30 percent adoption rate in its first year. The Pacers are using an Extracom network system for blanket coverage throughout the Fieldhouse.

If you have any problems, click on the Terms of Use page at login and there you will find a helpdesk number where you can leave a message or send an email to support. Feedback – both positive and negative – is appreciated.

Personal hotspots and MiFi devices often get in the way of WiFi systems because they blow a signal out that is creating disruption in the spectrum. They have a fix to lessen its impact.

A Distributed Antenna System or DAS, has been added inside the building, enabling the rebroadcasting of frequencies like cellular and LTE. This will eventually greatly enhance the coverage of your mobile carrier and ensure you’re always connected. They have already signed a contract and now are waiting on ExteNet to move forward to finalize their contracts with the carriers. Expect at least one in place by early spring.

The Pacers are currently looking in to an in-arena app, which would have everything one would want at the game, and more.

LEVY’S

Levy’s Restaurant is excited to have dozens of new items on their menu. They will be working with local chefs and bringing in local vendors. Wednesday, when the Chicago Bulls are in town, Scratch Street Food available for the first time up in section 224.

Levy’s is working with local breweries, and will often match their menu with the beer. Sun King, for example, was enjoyed in The Varsity Club on Opening Night. Before in Varsity Club, desert was à la Carte. No longer. It is included in the price of the meal. This area, available to everyone, opens 90 minutes before games and while reservations aren’t required, they are recommended.

There are three new sub sandwiches that are available in the concourses: Chicken Po Boy, Italian Grinder and a Philly Cheese Steak. There’s a new signature foot-long hotdog that’ll be loaded with all kinds of craziness.

Never fear, wings, which are legendary at the Fieldhouse, are still available. Quaker Steak & Lube is no longer there but the wings, with a new twist, will go on. They’ll soon have three flavors of Jake Melnick’s – buffalo, firecracker, and chipotle honey bbq, plus a rotating wing of the month. November’s wing is “Candied Apple Orachard.”

Due to the popularity of Tater tots, Levy’s combined them with nachos to create Ta-Chos, which are tots piled high with chili, cheddar cheese sauce, sour cream, salsa and jalapenos. However, that’s only available on the club level.

Down in The Locker Room Restaurant, their new Lobster Roll is highly recommend. There are three new signature burgers available: Big Bad Wolf, Double Cheddar and Mac’s Smoke House. Up in the suites, there’s all kinds of new items like mini-burgers and a mac & cheese sampler. Levy’s is trying all kinds of things while continuing their highest-rated items.

GIFT SHOP

As you’d expect, overall business in the gift shop is extremely good. Demand is a lot like ticket demand — high and growing. The place is doing very well, jammed wall-to-wall on game nights.

At the gift shop inside the Fieldhouse, they moved the retro section, featuring gear from players of previous decades, and expanded it to above the Dunkin Donuts. By moving it, they have expanded their women’s category, one area that has grown immensely. They have all kinds of apparel, including a new t-shirt that has the logo made of crystals.

Track jackets are a hot item and they have more than ever in stock, plus new hats from ’47 Brand. The gray name and number t-shirts of each player are very popular. The shop sells about 200 per game. Gold swagger hasn’t faded, either. Fans still love purchasing gold Pacers items.

Paul George, of course, has the top-selling jersey of any Pacers player. Gear with Lance Stephenson’s name is doing better than expected right now due to his on-court performance.

At each home game, there will continue to be a game night special – anything from a t-shirt, hat, scarf, pullover, or hoodie.

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