United Soccer League (USL) franchise Indy Eleven have put forward a proposal for a US$550 million neighbourhood development that would include a 20,000-seater stadium as part of the club’s mission to join Major League Soccer (MLS).
The new multi-purpose stadium, which the club plan to have ready in time for the start of the 2022 season, would be surrounded by multiple apartments and office buildings with a view of the playing field.
As well as the stadium, the development project, known as Eleven Park and fronted by the Keystone Group, includes approximately 150,000 square feet of office space, 100,000 square feet of retail, 600 apartment units and a 200-room boutique hotel. The precise location of the development is set to be revealed at a later date.
An official release from the Indianapolis-based club also confirmed plans to work with state legislators to provide a mechanism for the necessary parties to work together to help finance the new stadium.
Eleven Park has offered to privately develop and finance the office, retail, apartment and hotel parts of the project. Taxes generated from the property as a result of the private development would then be used to help finance the stadium. Indy Eleven have then proposed to lease the stadium and pay all operating expenses as well as any cost overruns, meaning no risk for the taxpayer.
“This is more than a stadium,” said Ersal Ozdemir, chief executive of the Keystone Group and owner of Indy Eleven. “It is the opportunity to create a vibrant community that will attract individuals and families from near and far to live, work and play.
“Soccer is the globe’s most popular sport and the world’s game needs a permanent home in our state. By paving the way for a world-class soccer facility as part of this transformational development, Indiana can fully capture a once-in-a-generation opportunity to secure the future of soccer in its capital city.”
Indy Eleven have only been in existence for five years and joined the USL in 2018 after the North American Soccer League (NASL) season was cancelled.
The club played their home games during their first USL season at Lucas Oil Stadium, the 67,000-capacity home of the National Football League’s (NFL) Indianapolis Colts. However, the team is likely to be better suited to a smaller venue like the one suggested as part of the Eleven Park project. The franchise’s average attendance in 2018 was 10,163, while their biggest crowd of the season was 17,535.