Who Owns the Indiana Pacers – An In-Depth Look At the Organization

The Indiana Pacers, a team many basketball fans cheer for, have a special story about their owner. Imagine having a favorite toy that you’ve kept for a very long time because it’s special to you.

The Pacers have someone who feels the same way about them, and his name is Herb Simon.

Key Highlights

  • Steven Rales now owns 20% of the Indiana Pacers, pending NBA approval.
  • The Simon family has owned the Pacers since 1983 and remains committed to keeping the team in Indiana.
  • The franchise is valued at $3.47 billion, reflecting its significant growth under the Simon family’s ownership.
  • The agreement between Simon and Rales includes a potential path for Rales to gain control if the Simon family decides to sell.

The Man Behind the Team: Herb Simon

Indiana Pacers ownership details

Herb Simon is a name that echoes through the halls of NBA history, not just for owning a basketball team but for being the longest-standing owner in the league.

Think of him as the captain of a ship who has been steering it through calm and stormy seas for over four decades.

How Did Herb Simon Become the Owner?

Back in 1983, a time when your parents might have been kids themselves, Herb Simon decided to buy the Indiana Pacers.

The team was like a bird that might have had to fly away from its home, but Simon made sure it stayed right where it belonged, in Indianapolis.

His love for the team and the city turned into a partnership that has lasted for 41 years.

Simon is one of the longest-tenured owners in the NBA and has been nominated for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for his contributions to the game.

What Makes Herb Simon Stand Out?

  • A Quiet Force in Basketball: While some people like to be in the spotlight, Herb Simon prefers to stay in the shadows, letting the experts make the big basketball decisions. Yet, his impact on the NBA and the Pacers is as significant as a superhero’s, often working magic behind the scenes.
  • More Than Just Basketball: Simon’s heart beats not just for basketball but for helping others. His kindness and efforts to make Indianapolis a better place shine brightly. He’s a billionaire, but he treats everyone with the same respect, whether they’re a star player or a fan in the stands.

A Family Legacy: Born to a father who came to the United States with dreams and became a tailor, Herb Simon, alongside his brothers, built a real estate empire. Yet, it’s his role as the Pacers’ owner that many will remember him for, showing that success is not just about money but about making a difference.

Herb is married to Bui Simon, who was Miss Universe 1988 and is the founder of Angel Wings Foundation, a charity that helps children in Thailand.

Steven Rales Joins the Team and the New Chapter

Pacers team ownership structure

Recently, a businessman named Steven Rales decided to buy a part of the Pacers, 15% at first, which later increased to 20%. This happened on a notable day, November 29, 2023.

The deal values the Pacers at a whopping $3.47 billion, showcasing the team’s importance and success.

What Does This Mean for the Pacers?

  • A Bright Future: With Rales, whose fortune is vast, joining forces with Simon, the Pacers are set to continue their journey with strong support. This partnership hints at a bright future, with possibilities of further success and growth.
  • Continued Commitment: The Pacers’ coach, Rick Carlisle, expressed gratitude towards both Rales and the Simons for their dedication. This shows that everyone involved is focused on the team’s success and well-being.

Looking Ahead

Ownership of Indiana Pacers

Herb Simon, now 89 years old, has seen the Pacers through many seasons, victories, and challenges. His agreement with Steven Rales opens a door to the future, one where the Pacers might see new leadership if the Simon family ever decides to pass the torch.

The Simon Legacy

The Simon family has been at the helm of the Pacers since 1983, when Herb and his late brother, Mel, purchased the team for $11 million. Under their ownership, the Pacers have become a beloved part of Indiana’s sports culture.

Herb Simon, now 89 years old, has expressed a strong commitment to keeping the Pacers in Indiana for the long haul. His son, Steve Simon, serves as the Pacers’ alternate governor and is expected to eventually take over the reins.

Pacers Today

Currently, the Pacers are showing their strength on the court, holding a respectable position in the Eastern Conference. This reflects not just the players’ skills but the solid foundation and support system built by their owners.

The team’s young core is a promising one, consisting of talents such as Tyrese Haliburton, Obi Toppin, Bennedict Mathurin, and their latest addition, Pascal Siakam.  The Pacers currently sit at the eighth place in the Eastern Conference, which is enough for a play-in spot.

However, this roster showed a lot of potential and is expected to get a better seed come playoff time.

FAQs

How does ownership affect the team?

Ownership plays a crucial role in the team’s strategic direction, financial health, and overall success. With the Simon family and Steven Rales at the helm, the Pacers are in capable hands.

Will the Pacers stay in Indiana?

Yes, the Simon family has made it clear that they are committed to keeping the Pacers in Indiana for the long term.

What’s next for the Pacers?

With strong ownership, a talented team, and a renovated arena, the Pacers are poised for success both on and off the court.

Can Steven Rales increase his ownership stake beyond 20%?

Yes, depending on future agreements and NBA approval, Rales could potentially increase his stake.

Does the Pacers’ ownership change affect ticket prices?

Ownership changes do not directly affect ticket prices; market demand and team performance are more influential factors.

Are there any other notable investors in the Pacers?

The details on other investors have not been made public, focusing primarily on the Simon family and Steven Rales.

Will the Pacers introduce new team branding or logos?

Changes in branding or logos are not directly tied to ownership changes and would be announced separately.

How does the NBA approve new owners?

The NBA’s Board of Governors reviews and votes on any ownership changes, ensuring new owners meet the league’s financial and ethical standards.

Has Steven Rales expressed specific goals for the Pacers?

While specific goals have not been publicly detailed, the commitment to the team’s success and community presence is a shared priority among the owners.

Closing Thoughts

The story of the Indiana Pacers is not just about basketball. It’s about dedication, love for a city, and the belief that a team can bring people together. Herb Simon has been at the heart of this story, with Steven Rales now joining him to write the next chapters.

Together, they ensure that the Pacers remain a beloved part of Indianapolis, continuing to inspire fans young and old.