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Pacers owner Herb Simon announced Thursday evening that he has reached agreement for minority owner Steven Rales to have a 20 percent stake in the team, pending league approval.

This comes two days after Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban agreed to sell a majority stake in his franchise to Las Vegas billionaire Miriam Adelson.

Simon’s statement, released about an hour before the Pacers tipped off in Miami:

My good friend, Steven Rales, who has strong Hoosier ties and is a graduate of DePauw University and co-founder of Danaher Corporation, which is the owner of Indiana-based life sciences company Beckman Coulter, expressed an interest in acquiring a minority investment in the franchise. After considerable discussion, Steven is going to become a minority owner of 20% of the franchise pending league approval.

Management of the franchise remains under Simon family control. The Simon family is as committed to Indiana today as we have been since we moved here from New York in the 1960’s.

Those last two sentences are important to you fans. It will continue to be run by the Simon family and they have no intention on moving the franchise.

Scott Agness 12 year pacers beat writer helps us with Pacers

Back in 2019, the team agreed to a new 25-year deal with Indianapolis’ Capital Improvement Board to keep the team through the 2043-44 season.

“The Simon family has always desired for the Pacers to stay in Indiana for the long term,” Simon said then.

The franchise recently completed $360 million in renovations to Gainbridge Fieldhouse, along with another $30 million for the recently-opened Bicentennial Unity Plaza.

Coming this winter, Simon is opening up Commission Row in the same area — just north of The Fieldhouse.

Herb’s son, Steve, has taken on a larger role within the franchise over the last decade and he serves as the Pacers’ alternate governor. The expectation has been that he will eventually take over.

“He’s very familiar, he works very closely with the business side and checks in with (the basketball side),” Herb said in 2021. “He’s around and he’s very involved.

“If I can hang around long enough, maybe we’ll even win a championship.”

My understanding is that Rales has had a small stake and now he’s increasing it to a more significant share — to 20%.

The news was first reported by Sportico, which said the new 15% stake was at a $3.47 billion valuation.

After head coach Rick Carlisle signed a contract extension with the team last month, he even thanked Rales in his comments.

“Excited to continue,” he said. “I really appreciate the commitment from Mr. Simon, Steve Simon, Steve Rales, our minority owner. And, of course, Kevin (Pritchard) and Chad (Buchanan). There’s a lot of work to do.”

Simon, who turned 89 years old last month, is the longest-tenured owner in the NBA. He and his late brother, Mel, purchased the team for $11 million back in 1983. And since, they’ve grown Pacers Sports & Entertainment to include the Indiana Fever (WNBA), Indiana Mad Ants (G League), Pacers Gaming and the Pacers Foundation.

And come February, Indy will host NBA All-Star Weekend for just the second time.

To learn more about Steve Rales from Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files CLICK HERE. 

Scott Agness is in his 12th season as a beat writer covering the Indiana Pacers. Click here to read more of his work at

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