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Eleven Park

Source: Courtesy of Indy Eleven / other

INDIANAPOLIS–A Fort Wayne entrepreneur is joining the Indy Eleven ownership group to support to the Eleven Park Project.

On Wednesday, the group announced that Chuck Surack is now a co-owner of the team. He is also an investor in private development on the proposed soccer stadium at a site on the southwest corner of downtown Indianapolis.  Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said the city is no longer working with the developer to build the Indy Eleven soccer stadium because the city is looking at a new site for a potential soccer-specific stadium in an effort to bring an expansion Major League Soccer team to the Circle City.

Surack founded and led the Fort Wayne-based company Sweetwater for more than three decades. He sold part of his company to private equity in 2021 and continues to serve as Chairman. Sweetwater is a $1 billion-plus music instrument and audio equipment retailer that he started out of a Volkswagen van over 40 years ago.

“It is clear to me that Indy Eleven and Eleven Park represent an unprecedented opportunity for downtown Indianapolis to finally embrace the kind of riverfront development that is transforming Fort Wayne and other cities across the country,” Surack said. “The strong foundation of community and fan support, coupled with the incredible chance to transcend sports through neighborhood redevelopment, is why I am joining this prominent group of business leaders from across the state. As a proud Hoosier, I am committed to investing my resources to support Indiana’s growth with like-minded people who have our state’s best interests at heart.”

Ersal Ozdemir, founder and owner of Keystone Group and Indy Eleven, said Surack has changed Indiana for the better by identifying opportunities for growth.

“That is why we are thrilled by his personal commitment to the growth of professional soccer through the Indy Eleven and to the vision of Eleven Park as a neighborhood investment. Chuck shares in our vision for the world’s game in Indiana, and our belief that by building more than just a stadium, Eleven Park will have lasting impact on Indianapolis as a whole. The addition of a Hoosier billionaire to an already strong Indy Eleven ownership group further solidifies our Indiana ownership group to bring MLS and the transformational riverfront development, Eleven Park, to Indianapolis,” said Ozdemir.

The Eleven Park development is in downtown Indianapolis’ southwest quadrant at the riverfront site which for more than 100 years was occupied by the Diamond Chain Company. The site is adjacent to the Elanco headquarters, just a block away from Lucas Oil Stadium, Victory Field, and the Indiana Convention Center. It is also near the Eli Lilly & Company global headquarters and the Indianapolis Zoo.

Eleven Park is supposed to be anchored by a 20,000-seat multipurpose stadium that will be the permanent home for Indy Eleven’s men’s and women’s professional teams. The plan is also for the park to have more than 600 apartments, office and retail space, along with restaurants, hotels, public plazas and green space.

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