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SOCCER: MAR 31 USL - FC Cincinnati at Indy Eleven

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INDIANAPOLIS — Billionaire Chuck Surack is now a part owner of Indy Eleven. He joins an ownership group that is now in a fight with the city of Indianapolis over a planned soccer stadium that originally had the support of the city’s mayor, but in recent weeks that support has gone away.

Mayor Joe Hogsett has said that it’s because he does not believe Indy Eleven owners have the financial backing to follow through with Eleven Park, which would be geared to attract Major League Soccer to the city.

Surack said his coming into the fold may change that tune.

“I’d like to believe it would happen, yes,” Surack said on WISH-TV when asked if his investment in the team means they could build Eleven Park without the city’s blessing.

Surack is the founder of Sweetwater Sound, a music instrument and studio recording equipment company, which is one of Fort Wayne’s (and Indiana’s) biggest employers. He also owns several other smaller businesses, some of which operate out of Indianapolis.

In recent weeks, Mayor Hogsett has put forth a plan to demolish the Indianapolis Heliport and create a similar tax district to that of one he had originally supported for Eleven Park. It would be there that a new soccer stadium would be built with hopes of attracting a brand new MLS expansion franchise.

There is no guarantee an expansion franchise would be awarded to the city if that stadium is built.

Surack said part of his motivation for coming into the fold with Indy Eleven’s plans is to save the Indianapolis Heliport. He said he’s reached out to the mayor on several occasions over the last two years to talk about some things but has never gotten a return phone call.

“We need the city’s support. This should not be a fight,” he added. “This should be ‘let’s do what’s right for the city and state of Indiana’. (Eleven Park) was already set up to be a soccer stadium that could support Indy Eleven and eventually maybe support an MLS team, so it’s ready to go.”

Surack’s commitment to the team also means he is joining the Eleven Park investment group bolstering the financial backing the stadium project has. But, he remains non-committal on whether or not his investment will be enough to convince Mayor Hogsett to change course back behind Eleven Park.

“We want the Indy Eleven players and fans to really love Indianapolis and I think they are going to continue to see more and better support going forward,” Surack said.

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