Pacers, Sports & Entertainment all under Conseco Fieldhouse roof

The Indiana Pacers have been a fixture on the Indiana sports scene since 1967. Conseco Fieldhouse has been a fixture on the Indianapolis skyline since 1999. Pacers Sports & Entertainment is now the fixture that combines the two entities.

The Pacers are well known. One of the National Basketball Association’s premier franchises, the Pacers have reached the NBA Playoffs 16 of the last 18 years that includes a stretch of reaching the Eastern Conference Finals six of 11 seasons and the NBA Finals in 2000.

Conseco Fieldhouse is also well known. In just five years, the 18,165-seat venue is regarded by many as the finest basketball arena in the world. It is also very unique with its one-of-a-kind retro look that combines all of the finest amenities an arena can offer.

Pacers Sports & Entertainment oversees both, along with the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, which has emerged as one of that league’s top teams. Owned by Melvin and Herbert Simon, co-chairmen of Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, PS&E is one of Indiana’s largest entertainment industry companies with more than 200 full-time employees.

“We built this company with the Indiana Pacers franchise as our foundation,” said Donnie Walsh, PS&E’s Chief Executive Officer and President. “Now we have diversified into additional sports and entertainment areas that are helping to fuel our growth by providing year-round revenue generating events.”

What are some of those events, besides Pacers and Fever games? They have included:

  • Concerts, which have included Beyonce, Prince, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, the Gaither Homecoming, Simon & Garfunkel, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Blue Man Group and John Mellencamp.

  • Special events, including the Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice, the World Famous Lipizzaner Stallions, WWE pro wrestling, the Harlem Globetrotters, the Promise Keepers, the Future Farmers of America, the Heartland Film Festival, the Lance Armstrong Tour of Hope and numerous meetings, receptions, dinners and seminars.

  • Sporting events, including the Big Ten men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s girls and boys basketball tourneys, the John R. Wooden Tradition college basketball games, hockey, arena football, the World Basketball Championships and the FINA World Indoor Swimming Championships.

    PS&E is not just about events, though. A priority of Walsh’s since he became the head of Pacers Basketball Corporation (now PS&E) in 1988 is to give back to the community and demonstrate the organization’s desire to be a good corporate citizen. Two ways PS&E does so are through the Pacers Foundation and numerous community initiatives.

    Pacers Foundation

    Founded in 1993, Pacers Foundation’s mission is to build collaborative initiatives to encourage Indiana’s youth in making winning life choices. We invest in our community’s youth by: Making grants of cash and in-kind contributions to non-profit groups throughout Indiana that share our mission and “fit” within one of our Grant Funds; Collaborating with groups in the community – corporate, non-profit and/or government – to develop initiatives that further our youth-focused mission and leverage the resources of all groups involved for greater community impact; and Awarding scholarships to students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and community leadership. Since our founding, we’ve given out more than $4 million in grants, scholarships and Pacers and Fever tickets.

    Pacers Foundation is not a traditional corporate foundation, supported solely by our corporate parent. We strongly believe that helping Indiana’s youth to make winning life choices requires all of us in the community to do our part. Therefore, we invite you to join us in this effort by making a financial contribution to Pacers Foundation and know that: Your dollars are going to help your community; Your dollars are also going to youth who most need it; The Funds described in our Grant Making portfolio were established based upon service gaps that we identified as a result of a community needs assessment conducted in Indiana; and we’ll take on the task of ensuring that the non-profits who receive your donation are stable, well-managed, and are achieving real results so that you don’t have to.

    Community Initiatives

    To say PS&E is involved in helping the community is an understatement. PS&E conducts more than 35 annual community betterment programs and events each year. The following is a sampling of the programming.

    Pacers Academy: On Aug. 23, 2001, Pacers Academy opened, the first school to be sponsored by an NBA team. With classrooms in downtown Indianapolis’ Union Station and Lafayette Square Mall, the Academy is an alternative middle and secondary school for at-risk students in the Indianapolis Public School and Pike Township school systems. The Pacers, IPS, Simon Youth Foundation, the City of Indianapolis and Costco Wholesale are sponsors of the school, which serves roughly 41 students in grades seven and eight and 60 students in grades 11 and 12.

    Read to Achieve: The Read to Achieve initiative, presented by Chase, serves as the primary community initiative in which the Pacers utilize their assets to promote the value of reading and online literacy. The Pacers’ All-Star Reading Team was established to help build a lifelong love of reading in young people and to bring public awareness to the value of reading.

    Indiana Heroes: The Indiana Heroes program serves as one of the premier community outreach programs of the Indiana Pacers. This program honors an individual(s) who have made an overwhelming impact on the lives of others and who, through their unique commitment and humanitarian spirit, have made exceptional and lasting contributions to our community and our State. Each award recipient will receive four tickets to an Indiana Pacers home game, where they will be recognized during a special on-court presentation. In addition, each recipient will also receive a “medal of honor”, and a commemorative photo recognizing their humanitarian spirit.

    Selected additional community programs include:

  • Black History Challenge
  • Call A Pacer
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest
  • Pacers Learning Centers
  • 100 Black Men Scholastic Basketball Program
  • “Come to Our House” Thanksgiving Dinner
  • High Five Club
  • Pregame Book Exchange
  • RHI Pacers Wheelchair Basketball Team

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