Eleven Park transformational project



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Greg Stremlaw at Coliseum Europe 2024 Image: Coliseum GSVA

Greg Stremlaw knows about the United Soccer League (USL) team Indy Eleven future home – the Eleven Park transformational project (Indianapolis, US) – like the back of his hand. He will be managing the stadium and the district once it sees the light of day. The new stadium for Indy Eleven is scheduled to open in April 2026.

The Eleven Park Project is a baby of the Indianapolis-based Keystone Group which is the umbrella corporation and “runs everything of all our soccer operations. We are pretty new. We were founded in 2013. Our vision is to really grow the sport of soccer across the Midwest (US).”

Greg Stremlaw is the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Indy Sports and Entertainment and the USL team Indy Eleven. He is playing a ‘key’ role along with the Indianapolis-based Keystone Group to bring alive the $1 billion-plus Eleven Park development project in Indianapolis (US) since it was announced in June 2022.

Greg Stremlaw, CEO, Indy Eleven, US, tells ‘Coliseum’ in an exclusive converse as to how the Indy Eleven’s Eleven Park Project will bring about a 360 degree change and light up the whole downtown Indianapolis area. He also says that growing the game of soccer organically in a basketball-loving The Hoosier State (read Indiana) is a challenge in itself and a greater challenge is that the Indy Eleven has neighbors in the form of the National Football League (NFL) team Indianapolis Colts who play in the 70,000-capacity Lucas Oil Stadium and the National Basketball Association (NBA) team Indiana Pacers who play their home games in the 18,000-capacity Gainbridge Fieldhouse and “we have to grow our brand among many world-class teams in Indianapolis which also boasts the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) headquarters and last but not the least the 400,000-capacity Indianapolis Motor Speedway which attracts more than 300,000 fans. The challenge is to grow in a kind of sports market saturation scenario”.
 

Indy Eleven

The Indy Eleven is an American professional soccer team based in Indianapolis, Indiana (US). Founded in 2013, the team made its debut in the North American Soccer League in 2014, before moving to the United Soccer League (USL) in 2018. The team home venue is the 12,111-capacity IU Michael A. Carroll Track & Soccer Stadium in Indianapolis.
 

Eleven Park

The 20,000-capacity Eleven Park is a soccer-specific stadium currently under construction on the site of the former Diamond Chain Company facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. It will be the home of the Indy Eleven, a professional soccer team that plays in the USL Championship.
 

Eleven Park Project

The Eleven Park Project is a baby of the Indianapolis-based Keystone Group – a developer of premier mixed-use projects. The Eleven Park Project is a transformational project and a mixed-use development which would create vibrant community space. Ersal Ozdemir owns Keystone Group, one of the biggest real estate developers in Indiana. He also owns the Indy Eleven and brought the pro soccer team to the City about a dozen years ago.

Informed Greg Stremlaw, “The epicenter of the $1 billion 18-acre complex on the Western border of downtown Indianapolis will be the 20,000-seat Eleven Park Stadium. It would be soccer-specific but it would be multipurpose. So, we will be holding American football, rugby and small concerts. The development will also boast 600-plus apartments, 4,000-seat music and concert hall and right in the middle of it all will stand a four-acre plaza which will offer spoilt for choice food, gathering events. Two hotels will also be a part of the grand scheme of things and 200,000 square feet of commercial space and 200,000 square feet of space for food and beverage (F&B) all around the plaza which will make for epicurean delight.”
 

Implementation of a Vision

Stremlaw and his team did a recce of “about a dozen mixed-use facilities and 23 different Major League Soccer (MLS) stadia” before zeroing in on the site of the former Diamond Chain Company facility in Indianapolis to start the Eleven Park project.

He added, “We did extensive market analysis, weighed the pros and cons and finally settled on the Diamond Chain Company site and acquired that land in 2022 immediately in the Southwestern portion of the Central Business District. The ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony was held on May 31st, 2023 and the demolition of the existing structures began pronto.”
 

Lessons Learned

Stremlaw asserted that they got through all the arduous legislation process due to their “out-of-the-box thinking which is incredibly viable and our not a cookie-cutter approach. Moreover, one should always keep alive the goodwill with the key stakeholders as we cannot carry on our shoulders alone a 1.5 million dollar project.”
 

Sum-up

Greg Stremlaw summed up by stating, “Fingers crossed, our stadium will be opening in the year 2026 and we want to see the beautiful game of soccer grow across the United States. With Indianapolis boasting the best of stadia and teams and recently ranked the fifth best City in the United States for sports and sports business, we are hopeful that it will work to our advantage to bid for large international events once our stadium opens its doors and the mixed-use district project comes to fruition. We (Indy Eleven) have always been a tenant for the last 11 years and our vision is to build a permanent home. The present stadium (Michael A. Stadium) is a little bit dated and tired. And we want the 20-acre district right on the White River to shimmer-shine in the whole of Indianapolis.”

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