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Lawmakers discussing new soccer stadium for Indy Eleven

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A third option is emerging that could give the Indy Eleven a new stadium after all.

24-Hour News 8 has been following the developments for months as lawmakers first proposed a new stadium for downtown, then renovating the existing Carroll Stadium, and now back to the idea of building.

The newest proposal would build a new 18,000 seat stadium on the same site as the existing Carroll Stadium.

Supporters say if all goes as planned, this could possibly lead to Major League Soccer in Indianapolis.

“The Indy Eleven has been a great tenant for us in the last year,” said vice president of capital planning and facilities Tom Morrison, Indiana University.

Speaking on behalf of Indiana University, Tom Morrison stood before lawmakers at a committee meeting Monday afternoon. Morrison made his case when it comes to the future of the decades old Carroll Stadium.

“If you want to build for professional soccer or an event type of facility, it’s probably going to necessitate building almost a new stadium on that footprint that’s probably between $50 to $60 million,” said Morrison.

But some lawmakers had questions about the estimated price tag and who’s going to pay for it.

“I think other parties would need to contribute to that, but we would need to define what the state contributions will be,” said Indiana State Rep. Todd Huston, District 37.

Rep. Huston says state government would probably invest no more than $20 million and that the difference would have to be made up elsewhere.

“The interested parties will need to come forward,” said Huston. “I assume the interested parties being folks like the university, the city, the team.”

Under the proposed plan, the new stadium could hold 8,000 thousand more soccer fans than Carroll Stadium.

Morrison believes that opens up the possibilities of hosting other sporting events beyond soccer and track.

“There’s a gap in our community in terms of venues that are of that size for outdoor athletic competition,” said Morrison. “Think about things like lacrosse championship and soccer championship and field hockey.”

Supporters point out a new stadium would also help with other issues for fans like restrooms. They would no longer need to bring in extra portable restrooms on game days.

The committee would have to reach an agreement on the proposed bill by Wednesday of next week, and then it would have to go to the house and senate for a floor vote.

If everything gets the green light, supporters say a new facility won’t happen until at least the 2018 season.