Pacers' home opener will be a gold out

All fans will receive a gold t-shirt and the team will wear their statement edition uniforms against the Miami Heat.

The Pacers begin the season with two straight games on the road, at Charlotte and then Washington. But when this team, led by an entirely new coaching staff, hosts the Miami Heat at their home opener on Sat., Oct. 23, it will be a gold out.

All fans in attendance — about 17,000 — will receive a gold t-shirt. It will be the first one in 917 days, since their Game 4 loss to the Celtics in round 1 of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 21, 2019.

The team will wear their gold Statement Edition uniforms and the Heat will be in black.

It will also be the first regular-season Pacers game since the arena was renamed Gainbridge Fieldhouse, and since the second round of renovations were completed. And it may be the first game filled to capacity since the pandemic.

“It’s an early symbol of normalcy, which I think warms everyone’s heart,” head coach Rick Carlisle said on Tuesday. “We’re not really back to normal yet in the world of COVID and all that kind of stuff, but we’re inching closer. Certain things have gotten better and under control so that’s great.

“The interaction with the fans is something everybody missed last year. As the year went on, we had more fans in our building in Dallas and then we had them for the playoffs — and it was just great.

“Indiana basketball fans are as good as it gets and so we’re really looking forward to having them back in here.”

See Also: 'We sincerely missed y'all!': Pacers reintroduced themselves to fans at their annual FanJam

The last Pacers home game recorded as a sellout (17,923) was a month before the NBA paused the 2019-20 season. It was when they hosted the Pelicans on Feb. 8, 2020 — and Zion Williamson didn’t even play due to a left ankle sprain.

Their 2021 home opener is 624 days later.

Home games last season were limited by the Marion County Health Department to about 25 percent of capacity, about 5,000.

This fan education list of traditions was inside of the team’s free game night booklet.