Indianapolis Politicians Are Onto The Next Step In The Hopes Of Landing An MLS Franchise

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MLS Commissioner Don Garber

There is a stadium plan.

June 26th is the next big date in Indianapolis’ quest to land a Major League Soccer franchise as the city’s Metropolitan Development Commission takes up a plan that would see either the city or some investor build an MLS stadium. On June 3rd, the City-County Council approved a new special taxing district to help fund the stadium project and by doing so withdrew funding for the United Soccer League’s Indy 11’s franchise owner to build a soccer stadium in town. Indy 11’s ownership could still go ahead with its plan to build a facility for the team in a project called Eleven Park. The owners of the Indy 11 franchise thought they reached an agreement to build a soccer stadium-village with Indianapolis elected officials. The Indy 11 owners thought they had an agreement which would create a special tax district surrounding the stadium to help pay off some of the costs of the estimated billion-dollar project. But Indianapolis officials did an about face and expressed concern about the financial viability of the project and then there was the discovery of hundreds of human remains on the site. The property was Indianapolis’ first public cemetery. Major League Soccer has not indicated whether Indianapolis would get a franchise if the MLS-style stadium is built.

The Major League Soccer public relations department did put out a statement expressing gratitude to the Indianapolis mayor for thinking of them. “It was exciting to hear Mayor Hogsett’s vision for a new soccer-specific stadium in Indianapolis.” City officials claim “an experienced and well-respected sports executive who has held leadership roles in the MLS and global soccer” is available. The next step in the process is getting the Metropolitan Development Commission to approve the special tax district plan and then send it to an Indiana budget committee for final approval. After that, a stadium could be built.

Indianapolis has deciding against funding the Eleven Park project.