Indy Eleven

Indy Eleven owner discusses stadium proposal

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The push to build a soccer stadium in Marion County is building steam.

Indy Eleven owner Ersal Ozdemir was at the Statehouse on Thursday asking lawmakers for a special taxing district to help finance part of the project. He sat down with News 8 on Friday to explain more about the project.

Indianapolis has a history of building stadiums to attract professional teams. Both Market Square Arena and the Hoosier Dome brought professional teams to the city. Ozdemir said he can’t make a play to make Indy Eleven a major league team without a major league stadium.

When the team takes the field for their first home match on March 30, it will be at Lucas Oil Stadium, the team’s temporary home for at least the next couple of seasons. 

“We will make sure that a neighborhood wants us there, and we will make sure we will have a large transformational development, not only what we will be developing, 16-20 acres, but will have a generational impact that will grow the area around the project,” said Ozdemir.

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The ideal site for the stadium would be one that is currently empty. Ozdemir as looked at Broad Ripple High School as a possible location but did not any more specific details. 

“You know guys, this is a site that will work, but that is all we can do at this point. Let’s try and work our effort collectively to make sure we have the opportunity to build a consensus in the General Assembly so we can have the discussion here locally in the next two-and-a-half years to do that,” Ozdemir said. 

Ozdemir said while there is not a site chosen yet, he is planning on how to pay for the stadium, which includes a new group of investors and a special taxing district, meaning a portion of the sales and property taxes collected at the new stadium will help fund the project. Ozdemir said the development around the stadium would be built with private money.

“You just don’t build a venue that is utilized when the games plays. We want a development that is a mixed-use development, that will have 365 days of use. Apartments: There will be 600 apartments; there will be 100 people that live there year-round. There will be shops and restaurants that will be there all the time,” said Ozdemir. 

Building this stadium is going to take time. It could be two years before all of the financial deals are put together.