Listen Live
Indiana Statehouse

Source: PHOTO: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS — The city of Indianapolis gave its approval for a change-up in the tax district approved last year for a soccer stadium on Monday.

The vote will seek to implement a special taxing district to support a soccer stadium where the Indianapolis Heliport is located downtown. The hope is to attract an MLS expansion franchise to the city. It now needs approval from the Metropolitan Development Commission before it can be sent to the state budget committee.

The city is planning to get this reset version of the tax district approved under a state law passed in 2023 that allowed Indianapolis to create a tax district for Eleven Park. It’s this effort that has the Indiana Attorney General stepping in with a legal opinion he released on Tuesday.

Rokita said in the memo that the new tax district approved by the Indianapolis City-County Council may violate the spirit of the state law the city says it falls under.

“For me, when I saw what (Indy city leaders) are doing with the language of SB 7, to me, it did not coincide with what I thought the spirit of that bill was,” said State Sen. Justin Busch (R-Fort Wayne) on WISH-TV. “But, also the technical bearings of that bill. That’s why I asked the attorney general to issue an opinion.”

Busch said he voted in favor of the tax district when it was brought before the State Senate under the assumption that the city could only have one special tax district, namely Eleven Park. The city has not submitted either the Eleven Park or the MLS tax district plans yet. They have until June 26th to submit a proposal.

Still, Rokita said in his opinion that the city should have submitted the plans for the Eleven Park tax district immediately after it was approved by the city-county council, keeping with the spirit of the state law that Busch refers to.

The mayor’s office said Rokita’s opinion has no legal bearing on the city’s plans for the MLS soccer stadium. Brickyard Battalion president David Ziemba said his organization, which is an independent fan group that supports Indy Eleven, has not supported one stadium site or the other since Hogsett went public with the MLS effort, just that they want the Indy Eleven as a club to have an existence once everything plays out.

“This is what the Battalion has been asking for since the beginning of this whole situation,” Ziemba said, as he added that the city needs to stick with what they and the fans know in the process of bringing an MLS team to Indianapolis.

“We have a known entity, with a known location, and known ownership and investor group with all those involved with Indy Eleven.”

Eleven Park could still be built, but it would be without any public money involved.

The ownership group that is said by the mayor’s office to be forming behind the MLS bid is still shrouded in mystery. Many city-county councilors urged the city and the ownership group to come out into the open as soon as possible. It would be that ownership group that would be on the hook for the $500 million+ entry fee into MLS.

The city said it will not begin working on design and financing plans for an MLS soccer stadium until they have secured an MLS expansion franchise.

The post Rokita: Indy’s MLS Stadium District May Violate Spirit Of State Law appeared first on WIBC 93.1 FM.

Rokita: Indy’s MLS Stadium District May Violate Spirit Of State Law  was originally published on wibc.com

Leave a Reply