Pacers Announce 50th Season Celebration
INDIANAPOLIS -- On this day 49 years ago, the name for Indiana’s then-new American Basketball Association franchise was officially unveiled: The Pacers. As part of the commemoration of that event, the team announced plans today for a season-long celebration of its 50th season that also includes a patch to be worn on player jerseys and a corresponding logo to be featured in team marketing initiatives.
The celebration will include era-specific commemoration nights throughout the 2016-17 season, the details of which will be announced after the 2016-17 NBA season schedule is released.
PHOTO GALLERY: Pacers Jerseys Through the Years »
"Our 50th season of professional basketball presents a tremendous opportunity to salute the players, coaches, owners and people who have represented the Pacers for the past half century as well as to underscore the franchise's historic role in Indianapolis and Indiana sports," said Pacers Sports & Entertainment President Rick Fuson.
Although it was announced in February of 1967 that Indianapolis would field a franchise in the startup ABA, it wasn’t until June 16, 1967 that the team was named the Pacers and the official logo was unveiled. That same day, General Manager Mike Storen also announced that Larry Staverman would become the team’s first head coach.
Storen revealed the Pacers name was chosen because the franchise intended to "set the pace in the ABA," the team played at the Fairgrounds Coliseum where pacers (a type of horse) race, and finally, because the Indianapolis 500 sets the pace in auto racing.
The iconic original Pacers logo featured a hand holding a basketball to make the shape of the letter "P" while the colors of blue and gold were chosen to mimic the Indiana state flag.
For more information about the Pacers' 50th season celebration, including stories, graphics, merchandise, ticket information, and to sign up to be alerted to emerging event details, please visit Pacers.com/50. The site will be regularly updated leading up to and during the 2016-17 season as the central hub for the 50th season celebration.