Fans revel in simultaneous success for Colts, Pacers - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Fans revel in simultaneous success for Colts, Pacers

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INDIANAPOLIS -

The Colts sit atop the AFC South after last night's win in Nashville, and the Pacers are at the top of all the NBA - the only undefeated team in the league.   

It's a great time to be a sports fan in Indianapolis.    

The Pacers go for nine wins in a row to start the season when they host Milwaukee tonight. This, after they exceeded expectations last year by making it to the NBA Eastern Conference finals, losing to the Heat in seven games.   

Fans are certainly hoping for another great season this year, and it's looking good.  

It's the Pacers' best start since the team played in the American Basketball Association. 

Longtime Indiana sportswriter Bill Benner, currently with Inside Indiana Sports, but soon to join the Pacers front office, can still remember those days.  "You have to go back to the ABA days in 1970-71 when they were winning the ABA championship."

Just a few years ago, the Pacers faced challenges with off-court issues, low attendance and fan apathy.   

Now, like the Colts, they're not just winning, they're drawing a lot of fans.   

"I know there's been a distinct rise in the ticket base and overall gate sales," said Benner. "We've had 3 or 4 sellouts already." 

With Colts fans on a waiting list for season tickets, Benner said there are plenty of tickets to go around, "Even though this is a semi-small market, you can take satisfaction in there's support for both teams."  

The Pacers say ticket sales are up across the board – between 12 and 13 percent over last year.  They say merchandise sales are up, as well.

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