INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - After an eight year hiatus, Indianapolis leaders announced Wednesday a pro soccer team is coming back to the city.
Before a packed house of soccer supporters, city, state, and soccer leaders announced a new team in Indianapolis: a North American Soccer League team, owned by Ersal Ozdemir. Ozdemir is chief executive officer of Keystone Group LLC.
“I commit to all of you here and the rest of the state that we will do whatever it takes to make this team a great team you’ll be proud of, for years to come,” said Ozdemir.
“I think the time is right for Indianapolis,” said Deron Kintner, Indianapolis Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. “I see it helpful in a number of ways, one, providing an amenity to our residents, to give them another entertainment option. There’s plenty of soccer fans as you saw here today so that’s exciting. But also, often forgotten, this is also an economic development tool. Being Indiana's soccer team, we expect to draw visitors from all over the state to come here.”
For the 2014 season, Indy Pro Soccer is hoping to play its home games at Michael Carroll Stadium on the IUPUI campus.
Ozdemir says he would change the look of the facility for pro-soccer games, and says he would look to build a soccer-specific stadium in the future.
“I think it’s going to be good, Indiana has every other sport really except for soccer,” said 12-year-old Justin Heidorn of Avon.
There is interest: the IU men’s soccer team just won their 8th national title.
Westfield native Eriq Zavaleta played on the team and is going into the draft for Major League Soccer this week.
“The guys on the team that won the national championship, a lot of them are Indy guys,” Zavaleta said. “That’ll help build a core group of fans that are around here, and hopefully boost the fan base for this team.”
This will be the highest level of pro soccer Indiana has ever had.
The Indiana Blast started back in 1997 but folded in 2004.
Leaders say this'll add jobs in the city in the hospitality industry as well.
Ticket prices will start at $10. Season tickets are already on sale at indyprosoccer.com.
The team has come up with a couple of potential names. You can vote for one of them, or come up with your own on that website as well.
Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of the deadly shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The snow heading toward Central Indiana comes during a major weekend in downtown Indianapolis.
A team of Indiana University experts is helping NASA with its ongoing mission to keep tabs on Earth's vast polar ice sheets.