Pacers Sports & Entertainment announced Dec. 21 it has acquired naming rights to the fieldhouse near Grand Park previously known as Jonathan Byrd’s Fieldhouse, according to nba.com. The Pacers Athletic Center encompasses 88,000 square feet with eight courts, and it will house the Jr. NBA Pacers. The center has plans to host the U.S. Jr. NBA Midwest Regional tournaments in the spring.
The fieldhouse updated its exterior to reflect the name change. It also updated the primary court inside to resemble the court at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.
Entrepreneur Andy Card owns the privately-funded fieldhouse. Card said the deal is for eight years, with options to follow, though Card did not disclose the price for the naming rights.
“When we built the fieldhouse, we wanted to create a gold standard and being able to partner with an organization like the Pacers, it just gives us another large step-up of credibility to what we’re doing here. We have a high emphasis on teaching the game (basketball) as well as playing the game. That’s the mindset of the Pacers and the NBA Jr. League, that’s made the relationship come together. It just puts us, in my opinion, in another league as the facility.”
Todd Taylor, senior vice president, chief sales of marketing for the Pacers, said the space also will allow for player and coach camps or clinics.
“Earlier this summer, going into our 51st season, we refreshed our brand and our grand platform for the foreseeable future is ‘We grow basketball here,’” Taylor said. “For us stepping in and picking up the naming rights opportunity to the fieldhouse, certainly to us from a business standpoint, it was the most authentic way we could demonstrate our commitment to basketball and growing the game.”
Taylor said the fieldhouse will reflect Pacers branding, and it will show lots of promotion for the game of basketball.
“We will look at Pacers Athletic Center as a headquarters to conduct those things (camps and clinics),” Taylor said. “Players could come to do workouts with kids. For us, it’s a long-term relationship, so I think you’ll see a lot of things. We will take some of our gaming experience up there. They already did a good job with camps and leagues up there so I think certainly we have a bit of expertise we can lend to it. The most exciting part of this is all the things we haven’t thought of yet that we will have the opportunity to impact.”
Jan. 6 serves as Basketball Day in Indiana, and an event will be held at the Pacers Athletic Center to celebrate the day.
“Years ago when the sports commission and I envisioned Grand Park, we set out to build the best youth sports park in the country, however it has evolved in to so much more. The Pacers Athletic Center will be a natural fit for Grand Park and Westfield. Earlier this year Grand Park was named the home of the Colts Training camp and now the Pacers have recognized the value of our sports park,” stated Mayor Andy Cook. “Andy Card has built a state-of-the-art basketball facility that has been an irreplaceable asset to Grand Park and our community. Andy and his team have created a community that Indiana’s Pacers want to be a part of and I look forward to being a part of such an exciting partnership.”
For more, visit grandparkfh.com.