The man in line to become the next owner of the Indiana Pacers has been running a private equity firm in San Francisco for more than 20 years. But don’t let that fool you. Steve Simon, the eldest son of current owner Herb Simon, is as connected as ever to the franchise and his Indianapolis roots.
“I care a lot about the amazing state of Indiana and I’m back all the time,” said Simon, who is not shy about showing his admiration for his hometown. “Like there is a secret DNA, a sort of mojo, that collectively is not like any other place I have been to,” said Simon, in this week’s episode of the Business & Beyond podcast.
Excerpts from the Simon podcast conversation, which aired this weekend on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, can be seen above.
In 2018, Herb Simon confirmed that a succession plan was in place for son Steve to eventually take ownership of the franchise.
The younger Simon says he has been working closely with team executives for many years behind the scenes and is excited about the future of the team, both on and off the court.
He says the social and economic importance of Pacers Sports and Entertainment, which includes the Indiana Fever and Pacers Gaming, is very much on his radar, pointing to the planned Bicentennial Unity Plaza outside of Gainbridge Fieldhouse and the 2024 NBA All Star Weekend as prime examples.
“Unity plaza talks to how we bring people together, how do we activate more? How do we bring more art activation, community and celebration,” said Simon, who adds the NBA All Star Weekend “will bring the world (to Indianapolis) and showcase this intimate, beautiful, multifaceted city…and build more belongingness and culture and service to the community.”