Indy Eleven

Indiana House passes soccer stadium bill

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A new downtown soccer stadium is one step closer to reality.

A plan to finance the $82 million facility won approval in the Indiana House of Representatives Wednesday.

The surprising 73-21 vote in the Indiana House was in favor of a plan to let team owners capture state tax money generated at the stadium and at a hotel now being developed downtown.

Up to $5 million a year could be used to pay off bonds sold to finance the 18,500 seat stadium that would be home to Indy Eleven, the Indianapolis soccer team that has played just one season in the North American Soccer League.

“There is a demand for this,” said Rep. Todd Huston, R-Fishers. “There is excitement around this. It’s a league, the North American Soccer League, that consists of cities like New York, Atlanta, Tampa and San Antonio.”

“I know we talk about how we built up downtown Indianapolis,” said Rep. John Bartlett, D-Indianapolis, who voted against the bill. “If downtown Indianapolis is doing that great, let it support itself.’

Prior to the vote in the House, Senate GOP Leader David Long made it clear that he has no plans to embrace the stadium idea.

“We’re really focused on our priorities here,” said Long. “Those have to come first. If the soccer stadium makes fiscal sense, we’ll certainly consider it.”