January 31, 2017
MAKING A BID
Indy Eleven formalizes attempt for MLS franchise
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indy Eleven formally announced a bid for an MLS expansion franchise as team owner Ersal Ozdemir delivered an application book to the league’s headquarters in New York Tuesday.
“Indy Eleven has permanently established professional soccer in America’s premier sports city, and now is the time to show that Indianapolis is the next great MLS city,” Ozdemir said. “We are excited to make the case for our tremendous fan base, dedicated partners, visionary civic leaders and all Hoosiers who embrace the sport.”
"I'm excited about the opportunity ahead for both the Indy Eleven organization and the City of Indianapolis and look forward to working with the team throughout the application process," said Maggie Lewis, President of the City-County Council of Marion County and Indianapolis.
Indy, founded in January 2013, made its case with the following points:
◦ Fan Support: With nearly 10,000 fans per game in its first three seasons, Indy has proven its fan base. The addition of MLS, as it has in other markets, will cause these attendance numbers to improve;
◦ Stadium Project: A downtown location with access for motorists and pedestrians has been identified for a 20,000-seat stadium built with soccer as a focal point. The stadium will be within walking distance of downtown Indianapolis;
◦ Local Ownership: The club has commitments from owners in Central Indiana ready to lend business backgrounds, strategic values and financial resources. The includes: Ozdemir - Founder & CEO, Keystone Realty Group; Mickey Maurer - Chairman of the Board, National Bank of Indianapolis and IBJ Corp; Jeff Laborsky - President & CEO of Heritage; Mark Elwood - CEO of Elwood Staffing; Andy Mohr - Founder & Owner of Mohr Auto Group.
◦ Corporate Community Support: Indy Eleven has relationships with sponsors, companies such as Honda (the team’s first Corporate Partner and primary jersey sponsor), McDonald’s, Finish Line, Anthem, Allegion and Community Health Network.