Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon are giving the ISO $1.5 million collectively.
The first Pacers game is expected to occur around Christmas.
The operator of several Indianapolis sports venues says the ongoing NBA lockout is costing it money directly.
Business owners say if the rest of the season is cancelled, they could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue.
The NBA says refunds are available for all NBA season-ticket holders for all preseason and regular season games that are canceled.