New Indy Eleven Investors Unveiled

Indy Eleven Eleven Park proposal

A slate of seven new Indy Eleven investors has been unveiled by the club, providing a financial boost amidst the pursuit of a new stadium project. 

Indy Eleven of Division II USL Championship recently unveiled a proposed new stadium that would be constructed as part of the larger Eleven Park development. Though a site has not been announced, the vision outlined by the club earlier this month calls for a new 20,000-seat, multi-purpose stadium that would be surrounded by private development, including roughly 150,000 square feet of office space, 100,000 square feet of retail, 600 apartment units, and a 200-room boutique hotel.

With the push to gain political support for the project ongoing, Indy Eleven announced on Thursday that its ownership structure is expanding to include seven new investors. The slate of investors, which consists of civic and business leaders from around Indiana, will obtain shares in the club while having the opportunity to invest in the Eleven Park project.

“To us, ‘World’s Game, Indiana’s Team’ is more than a motto, it is our mission,” Ersal Ozdemir, owner and chairman of Indy Eleven, said in a press statement. “By welcoming this successful group of business and civic leaders from across our great state to our team, we send a strong signal that Indy Eleven is a true Indiana success story that is poised for the next level.”

Per an announcement from Indy Eleven, the new investors are as follows:

  • Brian Bauer, President, IU Health Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Don Gottwald, CEO and Chief Strategy Officer, KAR Auction Services, Inc., Carmel, Ind.
  • Shane Hageman, President, Hageman Group, Carmel, Ind., Indianapolis, Ind., Remington, Ind.
  • Jeffrey A. Laborsky, President and CEO, Heritage Environmental Services, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Fred Merritt, President, LFM Investments, Inc., Fort Wayne, Ind., Carmel, Ind.
  • Quinn Ricker, President and CEO, Ricker Oil Company, Anderson, Ind.
  • Chris Traylor, Co-President, Traylor Bros., Inc & Representative of Traylor Family Capital, Evansville, Ind.

The proposed Eleven Park is an estimated $550 million project, with the stadium costing $150 million. The development would be privately financed, but the stadium is one of the components that calls for some public funding. A bill was introduced recently at the state level to designate project’s site as a professional sports development area, meaning that tax revenue generated within the area would be used to help pay off debt associated with the venue and other public areas of the project. The bill is still under consideration. More from the Indiana Business Journal:

The ownership group announcement comes about three weeks after Ozdemir revealed plans for the proposed $550 million, private-public development called Eleven Park, which includes a 20,000-seat soccer stadium. A bill to help fund the $150 million stadium portion of the project is under consideration in the General Assembly.

The Eleven said the new owners also will have the “opportunity to invest” in Eleven Park, alongside Keystone Group, an Indianapolis-based real estate development, construction and investment company owned by Ozdemir. The company did not say whether investment in the project was required as part of the ownership agreement.

The Eleven said it is continuing to seek more investors for Eleven Park, which is expected to include retail and office space, apartments and a hotel.

Indy Eleven, which has unsuccessfully pursued new stadiums in the recent past as part of MLS expansion efforts, currently plays home games at downtown Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Field–home of the NFL’s Colts. Prior to beginning play there in 2018–the club’s first season after leaving the NASL for the USL–Indy Eleven played home matches at Michael A. Carroll Stadium.

Image courtesy Indy Eleven.

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