INDIANAPOLIS — It looks like the Indy Eleven soccer team will finally get its own home stadium. A $1 billion 18-acre “Eleven Park” complex is in the works on the western border of downtown Indianapolis.
A subsidiary of development firm Keystone Corp. purchased the Diamond Chain manufacturing site at 402 Kentucky Avenue last October.
It’ll be centered between some of the city’s major sports venues, Victory Field and Lucas Oil Stadium. It’s one of the big reasons the site was chosen.
“You’re not just coming to the stadium,” Indy Eleven CEO Greg Stremlaw said. “You’re able to shop, play, eat before during and after the game, so it’s a full-fledged experience.”
Apartments, a hotel, office building and retail space will be built along with a 20,000-seat soccer stadium.
“The project would be a public-private partnership with the city and state taking the lead on financing,” writes IBJ. The city and state financing would apply mainly to the stadium, with Keystone Corp. developing the retail space, office building, hotel, and apartments.
The city of Indianapolis is expected to provide tax incentives or other financing to help fill gaps in funding.
The original price tag was $550 million but has jumped to over $1 billion due to inflation and design changes.
“When we’re talking about retail space and we’re talking about hotels or commercial office spaces, a number of those components have grown,” Stremlaw said.
Construction for Eleven Park could begin in early 2023 and would likely be complete by spring of 2025.
The City of Indianapolis Capital Improvement Board (CIB) would own the Eleven Park stadium, while Indy Eleven would lease and operate the venue.
While conceptual renderings have been released in the past, designs for what the complex will look like are expected to be released in the coming months.
Indy Eleven’s owner and chairman Ersal Ozdemir (also owner of Keystone Corp.) told IBJ Eleven Park could also be used for concerts too large for the TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park or too small for Lucas Oil Stadium.
“We have been working diligently for the last several years to secure a large area of land downtown for Eleven Park, and with our prime location now secured we are eager to take the next steps for this groundbreaking development,” said Ozdemir.
Since the team started playing in 2014, home games have been held at Michael A. Carroll Track and Soccer Stadium on the IUPUI campus. The team also played at Lucas Oil Stadium from 2018-2020.
“It’s kind of like when you buy that first house as a married couple and it’s your starter home,” Chris Wakefield with the Brickyard Battalion said. “Now we’re going into our big big home.”
Wakefield said he feels the team and the fans have earned the right to have something of their own.
“That’s the word that means the most to us, ‘permanency,’” Wakefield said. “We’re here now, we know we’re here now and it doesn’t matter where we were going to be we just wanted someplace permanent.”
The facility will also be designed to host soccer, lacrosse, football, rugby, and field hockey events for the NCAA and IHSAA, according to a release from Indy Eleven.
“This is a step forward in to the future of Indiana soccer,” William Stark with the Brickyard Battalion said. “We’ll always have a place. We’ll always have someone there to play.”
The team was founded in 2013 as part of the North American Soccer League. It joined the United Soccer League in 2018.
Indianapolis Business Journal contributed to this story.