Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the home of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers and WNBA’s Fever, was the second venue we visited today. Walking through the doors of the facility, I immediately felt an atmosphere that was completely different from any other arena I had visited before. Although Bankers Life has only been in existence for 16 years, a relatively short life compared to many others in the US, visitors cab still sense the glory, pride and rich history surrounding the venue.
Our tour began by walking along the external corridors, and I was amazed by all of the history and accolades for those who had passed through those halls before me. Athletes, coaches and administrators, as well as local and state history points, were on display along the halls, proudly touting historical events and people. While many of today’s newer venues sell themselves out to sponsors to the point that you no longer know if you are in a building or a sponsorship package, the only “Miller Time” that was predominantly paraded in Bankers Life was that of the great Reggie Miller and his time with the Pacers. While it is obvious that there are sponsors who make the facility a success, the logos and marketing materials of those sponsors is made to fit in with the construction instead of dominating it. The building possesses wonderful lighting equipment, special interior designs that mesh between modern and vintage, functional facilities for fans and players, as well as state of the art security systems.
Before our tour, we were afforded the opportunity to hear what individuals who work for the facility did to get their start in the industry, as well as be offered some tremendous advice for what someone today needs to do to get their foot in the door. As an international student, I found that their words of wisdom invaluable to someone looking to begin their professional career in the industry, specifically in the US. Although the way will be tough, we all have to keep pursuing it if we want to fulfill our dream of one day working in professional sports.
-Yen-Ting Chen, student from Taiwan in the Master of Science in Recreation and Sport Administration program.