Soccer stadium proposal dies in the General Assembly

March 6th, 2014 at 4:24 pm by under Jim Shella's Political Blog

The financing plan for a new downtown soccer stadium died in the General Assembly Thursday.  Legislative leaders decided to pull the plug before it came to a vote in the state Senate.

Questions about ticket sales and revenue projections got in the way, but it’s an idea that will come back next year.

The owner of the Indy Eleven pro soccer team, Ersal Ozdemir, got the word in a private meeting with Senate President Pro Tem David Long.

A dejected Ozdemir walked out of the Statehouse surrounded by advisors to figure out what to do next.

His team will play this year in Carroll Stadium on the IUPUI campus but he wants to build a multi-use facility, possibly on the site of the abandoned GM Stamping Plant.

“This may be a good idea,” said Sen. Long.  “It doesn’t seem like it’s completely worked through yet.  I think it would be wise for everyone to take a deep breath, step back, and look at it.”

Ozdemir did say that this is his first experience in the Statehouse and it’s not an area where he’s comfortable.  He plans to come back in 2015.

“The overall concept will be the same,” he said, “and we’ll take our time this year to answer any questions people have about numbers.  We’re confident about our numbers.”

The plan called for an $87 million dollar stadium that would be paid for with a ticket tax and the capture of sales taxes at the stadium.  It was approved by the Indiana House but a number of Senators believe the team needs to play at least one season before taxpayers help out.

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