The Indiana Pacers announced their new training facility and partnership with St. Vincent this past week. Here are my immediate reactions to news of the St. Vincent Center:
1. How will this effect parking for games? The past couple years have already seen $5 lots turn into $10 lots, so while the facility is being built on an employee parking lot, that may have a domino effect on the other lots around Banker’s Life.
2. The best part is that the $500-million facility is being funded privately. Hooray for taxpayers not having to pay for it! At least, that’s my understanding.
3.Overall, this can only be seen as a positive for the Pacers organization. Will it actually help recruit free agents like Mr. Bird thinks it will? Who knows? But it certainly won’t hurt. With seemingly more and more Pacers staying in Indy to workout in the offseason every year, this will be an awesome addition to encourage those players to keep doing so. Over half of the current roster (PG, Joe Young, Myles Turner, Rakeem Christmas, George Hill, Glenn Robinson III, Shayne Whittington, and CJ Miles) has spent much of this offseason working out at Banker’s Life.
4. At some point during this process, Bird or someone else mentioned that the major colleges already have facilities like this, so the rookies are used to these kind of training areas when they enter the league. It’s incredible to me that college teams can afford these type of things that many NBA teams still don’t have. In my opinion, it’s just another reason that the college players should get paid something. Anything. Other than their free tuition. But that’s a conversation for another time and probably a different blog.
5. Not only could this be a plus for getting free agents to come to Indianapolis, it may also help the Pacers keep their own free agents. For a smaller market team, that’s just as important. Hopefully, it’ll be added incentive to stay for Paul George and the rooks (if they live up to their potential) when their current contracts come to an end.