INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indy Eleven supporters will rally Thursday at the Statehouse in support of a bill that would help finance a permanent stadium for the city’s professional soccer team.
Supporters say it would not only house Indy Eleven, but also more than 30 other sports and entertainment events.
Plans call for an $82 million downtown facility with 18,500 seats.
Beginning at 10:00 Thursday morning, Mayor Ballard, Indy Eleven supporters and players will speak at the statehouse to show their support for House Bill 1273. The House has already passed the plan that would let team owners capture state tax money generated at the stadium to help pay for the facility’s construction costs.
“It’s an enabling legislation that allows us to retain the taxes and the ticket fees that are generated from the stadium itself to allow this beautiful stadium to be built. It will really help bring attractions to the city of Indianapolis, events that right now frankly are bypassing Indiana and going to other cities and other states,” said Peter Wilt, Indy Eleven President and General Manager. “It’s important to understand, the users will be the ones funding the stadium. That’s what this rally is about, to educate people the nature of this bill and the positive effects it’s going to have on Indiana.”
Opponents of the bill say they worry the stadium won’t be as self-sustaining as hoped, and the state will wind up bearing the cost.
This bill still needs Senate approval, which some say looks much less certain.
It’s been referred to a senate committee.
Thursday’s rally also comes just before the start of the season for the Indy Eleven April 4.
Organizers say it’s designed to be a day-long event, with lunch provided for attendees, a meet and greet with players, and a Statehouse tour.
For more information on the rally, click here.