They’re coming for our NBA team. They’re calling Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon, those billionaires from other cities, wanting to pry the most valuable asset from his $2.8 billion portfolio — but Simon tells everyone the same thing, and quickly gets off the phone: The Pacers are staying in Indianapolis for the rest of his life. And for decades after he’s gone. “I want to leave my legacy: This team permanently in Indianapolis,” Simon told IndyStar Friday in an interview at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. “That’s my No. 1 goal.”
Simon bought the Pacers in 1983 with his older brother, Melvin — who died in 2009 at age 82 — but had never publicly discussed succession plans for the franchise until Friday, when he told IndyStar the team someday will be owned by his 53-year-old son, Steve. Behind the scenes, Steve Simon has been working closely with Pacers Sports and President Rick Fuson for five years — “He knows more about the dollars and cents than I do,” Herb said of his son — and met this week with several department heads. “If anything happens to me, he’d be taking over,” Herb said, adding that father and son are on the same page: The Pacers are staying in Indianapolis.
They’re coming for our NBA team. They’re calling Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon, those billionaires from other cites, wanting to pry the most valuable asset from his $2.8 billion portfolio – but Simon tells everyone the same thing, and quickly gets off the phone: The Pacers are staying in Indianapolis for the rest of his life. And for decades after he’s gone. “I want to leave my legacy: this team permanently in Indianapolis,” Simon told IndyStar Friday in an interview at Bankers Life Arena. “That’s my No. 1 goal.”
Storyline: Indiana Pacers Sale?
“The team becomes much more valuable if you move from a city of 2 million (like greater Indianapolis) to a city of 5 million,” Herb Simon said Friday. “But I’m not even thinking about that.” Who, I asked the Pacers’ owner, is trying to buy the team? “People who probably would like to move it,” he said. “But I don’t let them get far, so I don’t ask that next question.”