INDIANAPOLIS — The owner of Indy Eleven is certainly keeping the door open to the possibility of joining Major League Soccer as the team announces plans to build a new soccer stadium in downtown Indianapolis.
The proposed 20,000-seat stadium is only a portion of what will eventually be a massive development on the southwest side of downtown right by the White River. Along with the stadium, it will include office, residential, and retail space in a whole space dubbed “Eleven Park.”
“The team needs a stadium,” said Indy Eleven owner Erzal Ozdemir to WIBC’s Tony Katz. “As you know, if you are a second division or third division or triple-A, minor league, you have to have a proper venue. We’ve been playing at a track venue converted for soccer.”
The Indy Eleven are currently members of the Eastern Conference of the USL Championship, which is a Division II professional soccer league that many consider to be one step below Major League Soccer (MLS).
Orzdemir said the stadium will be a giant step forward toward the club’s bigger goals.
“We will never say no to that (joining MLS),” he said. “But, we don’t need to join MLS in order to build the stadium. This project will self-generate enough and we are making a transformational impact to this area.”
Indy Eleven is not releasing an approximate price tag on how much the whole project will cost, but Ozdemir said that 20-percent of the cost will be covered out of the team’s pockets, with the other 80-percent coming from taxes created by the project.
That means for people who spend money at Eleven Park, whether it be through residential, retail, or coming to see an Indy Eleven game, an extra tax will be levied on those transactions that in turn will go back towards paying for the stadium.
Ozdemir reminds you that even though the stadium will be the new permanent home of the Indy’s side, the stadium can be used for much more.
“It’s not just for soccer,” he said. ‘ You can have football games, lacrosse, rugby. You will have the largest concerts in the state. You can have up to 30,00 people for outdoor concerts.”
The team hopes to break ground soon with the stadium expected to be open by the summer of 2025.
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Could Stadium Plans Put MLS Within Reach For Indy Eleven? was originally published on wibc.com
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