Indy Eleven has been reported to be considering options for its future, including home games at Lucas Oil Stadium and a switch from the NASL to the USL.
Indy Eleven plays its home games at Michael A. Carroll Track & Soccer Stadium, where it has traditionally been a success on the attendance front. However, the club has previously discussed the possibility of building a new stadium as part of an MLS expansion effort, only to come up short in attempts to receive public funds for the project.
Going forward, there are two developments that the club is reportedly considering, one of which is home games at Lucas Oil Stadium– the downtown Indianapolis home of the NFL’s Colts. In addition, with the status of the NASL for 2018 and beyond uncertain, reports have indicated that Indy Eleven could make the switch to the USL for the upcoming season. Recently, a club representative confirmed that Indy Eleven has been in discussions about using Lucas Oil Stadium, but cautioned that nothing has been finalized. More from the Indianapolis Business Journal:
“We’re still trying to see if it makes sense,” said Steven Krusie, director of marketing and communications for Indy Eleven. “We’re looking at whether it’s possible. There are so many things that need to be ironed out, it may not happen.”
Krusie said he was not able to provide further details, including who specifically the team was in talks with. Eric Neuberger, director of the stadium, referred IBJ’s request for information back to the team. Other Indy Eleven officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesperson for Mayor Joe Hogsett was not aware of the talks and referred questions to the city’s Capital Improvement Board, which owns the stadium.
A source close to the stadium who wished to remain anonymous confirmed that the possibility of the team hosting games in the facility has been discussed. The source was only aware of the potential for playing one-off games in the stadium—not all of the team’s home games.
A report posted Friday on the soccer website SocTakes claimed that the team would join the United Soccer League for its 2018 season and host its home games in Lucas Oil Stadium, citing “multiple sources.”
The club representative also addressed the report of a potential change in leagues, telling IBJ that no decision has been made:
Krusie told IBJ on Saturday that the team has had conversations with the league, but he declined to reveal the substance of the discussions. “Nothing has been decided,” Krusie said.
The NASL has been in limbo since the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) announced in September that the circuit would not retain its Division II status for the 2018 season. Its previous request for a preliminary injunction to retain Divison II status was denied, but the league has since appealed and is awaiting a ruling. In the interim, it has been announced that the NASL is adopting the international soccer calendar for its 2018-19 season, with an August-to-June slate.
At this point, there is uncertainty surrounding some of the NASL’s clubs. North Carolina FC has already announced a move to the USL, while the San Francisco Deltas folded and FC Edmonton shut down operations for 2018. In addition, a 2019 launch appears to be an option for expansion 1904 FC in San Diego, which has been expected to join the league in 2018.
Image courtesy Indy Eleven.
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