Indy Eleven soccer stadium gets shot-in-the-arm


Eleven Park development update December 2023 Image: Keystone, Populous & browning day

Indianapolis City-County Council has given the green light to the city’s plan to create a new taxing district for the Eleven Park development, which includes a new soccer stadium.

Keystone Group said The 23-1 vote allows for the city to proceed with establishing a professional sports development area, or PSDA, to partially pay for a 20,000-seat soccer stadium for the United Soccer League’s Indy Eleven.

The soccer stadium is a key component of Keystone Group owner Ersal Ozdemir’s planned $1.5 billion mixed-use development on the former Diamond Chain Manufacturing Co. site southwest of the city’s Mile Square.

Since the team started playing in 2014, home games have been held at the IU Michael A. Carroll Track & Soccer Stadium on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus. The team also played at the Lucas Oil Stadium from 2018 to 2020.

The City-County Council’s Metropolitan and Economic Development Committee unanimously recommended approval for the PSDA measure on Nov. 21.

The Indiana General Assembly passed legislation for the PSDA in 2019, permitting state tax contributions of up to $9.5 million per year toward debt service on the soccer stadium, as long as Ozdemir, who owns Indy Eleven, contributes at least 20% of the venue’s overall cost.

The district would collect various taxes to cover a portion of the cost for the stadium at the proposed Eleven Park development. The first phase of the project is under construction.

The $1.5 billion project as proposed includes the stadium, 600 apartments, 205,000 square feet of office space, 197,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and a 4,000-seat indoor music venue.

It also would include extensive green space and an amphitheater. The stadium is expected to cost anywhere from $200 million to $250 million.

It will also be designed to host soccer, lacrosse, football, rugby, and field hockey events for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA).

The PSDA would generally rely on state retail taxes, local and state income taxes, and food and beverage taxes collected in the district, but the resolution for the district also allows innkeepers taxes and admission taxes to be used.

The proposed boundaries for the PSDA include the entire 20-acre site, but go beyond the property to form a piecemeal, non-contiguous district made up of properties throughout downtown—but all within a one-mile radius of the Eleven Park site, as required by law.

Keystone Group said both the taxing district and the Eleven Park project must still clear additional hurdles in coming months to come to fruition.

The city and the Capital Improvement Board plan to complete a feasibility study in the coming months, in partnership with Chicago-based firm Hunden Partners, which will determine how much revenue might be generated by both the stadium itself and the Eleven Park project.

Those findings must be provided to the state budget committee by July 1, 2024, which has final say over creation of the PSDA. Once that is done, debt tied to the district can be issued for the project.

The city also continues to work with Keystone Group to establish additional incentives for the Eleven Park development. Keystone must sign a deal with the CIB (which also operates the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium), designating the board as the stadium’s owner.

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