MLS expansion team nod for Indianapolis


Indianapolis one step closer to an MLS stadium Image: Indianapolis, Miyin2, CC BY-SA 4.0

Indianapolis City-County Council has voted to formally adopt a proposal enabling the creation of a new professional sports development area for a Major League Soccer stadium.

The IndyStar said the proposal was tabled by Mayor Joe Hogsett and set the boundaries of a new PSDA, or special taxing area for the proposed downtown venue.

City officials said 355 E. Pearl St. has been identified as the alternative site for the soccer stadium. The one-mile radius around the stadium will comprise the new PSDA.

The proposal is being advanced at the expense of what would be a publicly funded stadium at the $1.5 billion Eleven Park mixed-used development.

That project, headed by Indy Eleven soccer team owner Ersal Ozdemir and his development company Keystone Group, is planned at 402 Kentucky Avenue ― and on top of a former cemetery on the banks of the White River.

The new PSDA would be an alternative to the one already established for Eleven Park and Indy Eleven.

The City-County Council and Metropolitan Development Commission approved a PSDA for that site last year, but city leaders never forwarded that plan to the state for review and final approval.

Hogsett said after the latest vote, “Today we begin our pursuit of the world’s game. A bipartisan vote of the City-County Council sent a resounding message: Indianapolis is ready to write the next chapter in our sports story.

“Over the coming months, our community will unite in pursuit of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to secure a Major League Soccer expansion club for our city.

“I’m grateful to the City-County Council for supporting the vision to solidify Indianapolis as America’s greatest sports city, and extend my thanks to the residents who continue to passionately participate in this process.”

The IndyStar further stated that council members who supported the proposal said they did so out of concern that Indianapolis’ pursuit of MLS would end if it was not supported by the council.

District 8 Councilman Ron Gibson said, “If we create this special tax issue, it gives us kind of an advantage. This is the chance of a lifetime.”

Hogsett’s administration concluded the proposed Eleven Park stadium was too financially risky for taxpayers and said it would not be sent to state for review.

He also cited concerns about human remains found at the site and others believed to remain there in unmarked graves. Many are likely from some of the city’s first Black residents, who were left behind when other bodies were moved from there in 1870 through 1920.

Cash from a mix of in-progress development and redevelopment projects would help fund the MLS stadium.

The Metropolitan Development Commission will vote on the new resolution to establish the PSDA on June 26. If it passes there, the proposal will go to the state.

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