INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – While developers continue to look at possible options for a new 20,000-seat soccer stadium for Indy's professional soccer team, one possible location has surfaced.
Indianapolis Public Schools confirms an IndyStar report saying the district received a letter in November that showed interest in developing Broad Ripple High School into Eleven Park. Besides the soccer stadium, the development would include office and retail space, apartments and a boutique hotel.
The report said the developers were given the suggestion by the Broad Ripple Village Association.
Colleen Fanning is the BRVA's executive director and District 2 City-County Councilor. Fanning released the following statement:
This is an exciting time for my entire district. We have an opportunity to do something very special with the redevelopment of Broad Ripple High School, which will impact the immediate and surrounding communities for decades to come. As I’ve said since this process began, the community’s voice should be heard, and IPS should work to move as quickly as possible to decide the property’s future. Long-term vacancy benefits no one.
As the District 2 representative for City-County Council, my job is to facilitate, convene, coordinate and ultimately drive action. Community awareness and discussion must be part of any process to redevelop BRHS, and if the idea progresses, I will work to ensure the community is involved. In the meantime, I will continue to reference interested parties to IPS in the hope they will proceed with greater urgency.
An IPS statement issued Friday said the district has not received an offer.
Following the announcement of plans for Eleven Park, officials said they'd release details on a site at a later time and added Friday they had not come to a decision.
"Despite premature media reports, Keystone Group remains in the evaluation phase with regards to the eventual site of Eleven Park, a transformational neighborhood development that includes a public plaza, office building, retail, apartments and boutique hotel – anchored by a 20,000 seat multi-purpose soccer stadium," Eleven Park spokesperson Tim Phelps, said. "We are evaluating multiple sites in Indianapolis and have no further comment on any site that has previously been or is currently under consideration for Eleven Park."
News of the possibility of a professional sports team planting its flag in Broad Ripple was met with mixed reactions.
"I’m a huge soccer fan," said Brooke Horswell. "So, the idea initially gets me excited, I do feel like downtown has that monopoly of all the sports. As a person who lives in Broad Ripple, I think it would be fun to have something here that we as a little village can get behind and take ownership of."
A co-owner of The Shops, a sports apparel store along Broad Ripple Avenue, said the young people who live in area are the people the Eleven want as fans. However, traffic issues need to be resolved even if the team doesn't pick that neighborhood as home.
"As a business owner, from the stand point of more people in, more people walking by our store, it’s a great idea," said Alex Janeczek, who added his business even sells Eleven merchandise. "You do have to think how think about how they’re going to pull that off. Broad Ripple has problems with traffic and parking now, foot traffic and vehicular traffic."