The state’s highest-profile professional basketball teams now have the same owner. Pacers Sports & Entertainment, which manages the Indiana Pacers, the Indiana Fever and Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, has acquired the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
The NBA Development League organization was owned by Fort Wayne Basketball Group LLC and majority investors John Zeglis, Julie Potter and Jeff Potter. Jeff Potter was the team’s president and will continue as the Mad Ants president of business operations. Brian Levy, formerly an assistant general manager with the Bakersfield, California "D-League" team, has been named Mad Ants general manager. All 10 NBADL teams now have an NBA franchise affiliation and more than half are owned by NBA teams.
Pacers Sports & Entertainment owner Herb Simon says "we are proud to extend the Pacers brand into Northeast Indiana and excited about continuing the tradition of professional basketball in Fort Wayne. We will work closely with the Mad Ants staff to provide support and expertise on both the business and basketball sides and we hope to build on their enthusiastic fan base." The city was home to the NBA franchise that became the Detroit Pistons from 1941 through 1957.
Pacers President Larry Bird says the big club will use the Mad Ants as a "training ground for players, coaches and front office personnel."
The Mad Ants have played at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum for its eight season existence. The team was D-League Champions in 2014 and league runners-up last season.
Pacers President Larry Bird says “we’re here today because of Herb Simon.”