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Fans excited about possibility of Indy Eleven upgrading to MLS

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indianapolis may soon be home to another major league sporting franchise. The Indy Eleven filed paperwork Tuesday to join Major League Soccer.“I think it would be great, be very exciting,” said Ryan Coupin while watching a soccer game at Chatham Tap Pub on Massachusetts Avenue. “I think it’s a great move. I think there’s a lot of support for Indy Eleven. People in Indy are definitely paying a lot more attention to the sport than they were,” said Coupin.The deadline to file paperwork is Tuesday night. MLS said previously that it wants to add four teams to its roster. The Indy Eleven was the 12th team to submit paperwork.“I think it’s going to boost morale for the team in general, and I think for the community, it’s going to be really good for them,” said Courtney Ekema, an Indy Eleven fan.“We have a tremendous fan base here. We average just under 10,000 per game at Carroll Stadium over the course of first three years,” said Jeff Belskus, the president of Indy Eleven.Most games played at Carroll Stadium are sold out. In addition to their application, Indy Eleven also said they’d build a new stadium.The cost estimate is $100 million. The team is petitioning the state to fund it with a user tax. Fans would pay for it with the price of a ticket.“Ersal Ozdemir, who owns our team, has said from the beginning that he wanted a team to play to Division 1 standards. To be Division 1 in the United States of America it’s via Major League Soccer,” Belskus said. Chatham Tap has become the city’s premier soccer bar. They’re now waiting to see if they’ll be hosting fans and teams of a different tier.“Teams like Seattle that just won the MLS championship or Portland or Chicago Fire — to have some of those teams come to Indy would be huge. We’d love to see it,” said Daniel Jones, the owner of Chatham Tap.The MLS is expected to make its announcement on the teams later this year.If the move is approved, the earliest it would take effect is 2020.

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