Ballard: New $6M complex will help attract world sports

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Mayor Greg Ballard revealed Tuesday during a trade mission to India that Indianapolis hopes to host the inaugural United States Cricketing Championship next summer or fall.

It was the first public announcement of the city's plans, and suddenly shed light on a $6 million project to create a complex that would host the event on the city's far east side.

Already, Ballard has enlisted the Indiana Sports Corp. and Visit Indy, the city’s tourism arm, to help attract, promote and conduct the cricket event, according to Marc Lotter, a spokesman for the mayor. The event will be sanctioned by the United States of America Cricket Association.

Lotter told IBJ the effort to host the event is part of the initiative to transform a 40-acre city park in the 1300 block of South Post Road into an international sports complex capable of hosting local, regional, national and international cricket, rugby, lacrosse and hurling events.

One multi-use field already is complete at the Post Road Community Park and is being used by the city’s local cricket club, Lotter said. The park will be renamed Indianapolis World Sports Park.

The $6 million project began two years ago. Lotter said that once it is complete in summer or fall of 2014, the park will have five athletic fields and be capable of holding events attracting as many as 10,000 spectators.

Money for the project is coming from Rebuild Indy funds—the revenue from the sale of the city’s water system to Citizens Energy Group.

“We’re talking about creating some of the most premier fields in the U.S., built to international standards, that can host these sports,” Lotter said. “We think this project helps cement the city’s reputation as a sports capital of the world.”

The project also includes walking and fitness trails, additional parking, bathrooms and concession facilities, as well as room for temporary bleachers.

Lotter and Ballard are confident developments like these will help Indianapolis attract businesses from India and other parts of the globe where these sports are popular.

“What the mayor is saying is, ‘This is your national pastime, [and] when you think about growing that sport, we want you to think about Indianapolis,’” Lotter said.

“Having these offerings here we think will help this city attract international businesses—companies from parts of the world where these sports are very popular. These types of developments could be a very important drawing card.”

Last year, the one complete field hosted an event featuring cricket teams from Eli Lilly and Co. Inc., Roche Diagnostics, Dow AgroSciences and Indiana and Purdue universities. Ballard told a delegation in India on Tuesday that once the facility reaches maturity, he hopes it attracts teams from around the world, according to The Times of India.

“Cricket is not exceptionally strong in the U.S. right now. I need to change that,” Ballard told a gathering in Hyderabad, Indianapolis’ sister city. “When people from around the world think of cricket, I want them to think of Indianapolis.

“This is our commitment to international sports. We want to send signals to the world that Indianapolis is a place that you need to be looking at. We adapt to everything, we receive everybody and we are an extremely inclusive city.”

Ballard also spent Tuesday, according to The Times of India, talking to Hyperabad locals about the Indianapolis 500, new cycling trails around Indianapolis, and the city’s strengths in sectors like information technology, pharmaceuticals and life sciences.


  • You don't like Cricket, but....
    INDIA DOES! Yes India! Not you! Allow me to explain, in India the game of Cricket is about as popular as God and his mate Jesus are in the mid-west of the USA you know, where you live! And that obsession extends from the lowest begger on the street in Mumbai the the head of the United Breweries Group in Bangalore. Yes that's right India has it's own beer company they make 'Kingfisher' beer!!! Funnily enough, UBG also own a US based brewing company called Mendocino Brewing Compony based in California, they brew Indian style beers for Californian Indians! Who by the way... Like Cricket! India also has many many many other major international corporations, corporations like Sahara India Pariwar owned by one Subrata Roy Sahara. Sahara an international conglomerate that owns everything from hotels to construction companies to media groups and all and anything in between are estimated to be valued at around $63 billion USD. Coincidently they are the major sponsors of Force 1 India the Formula 1 team and... You guessed it! The Indian National Cricket Team! You know why? Because Subrata loves Cricket. So really? Really? Is a measly 6 mil soo much to bear to attempt to entice India to Indianapolis?
  • not such a bad idea
    Brilliant idea. You can always tell a good idea by the number of Hoosiers opposed to it. Uncontaminated by originality, innovation, or any aspiration for first mover advantage, aren't we. The only problem is that $6m isn't enough for a decent venue. Ballard should double it.
  • RE: The Onion
    Satire very often exposes the truths in our society more than mainstream "news" and other sources. See The Daily Show, Bill Maher's show and yes, The Onion. That Indianapolis and our dimwit Mayor are a laughingstock - and his idiot agenda only serves to reinforce our status as Indian-noplace – is no secret...if it's not wearing a jock strap, the mayor won't back it. Maybe our teachers and musicians and authors and actors and painters should put on a jock; maybe then they'd get some attention from the jock sniffing doofus who is currently posing as the mayor of a supposedly major city.
  • Do your homework sports fans.
    Lacrosse is Native American orignined sport currently played by 40 High Schools in Indiana. I don't see you all trashing soccer.
    The vast majority of voters in Indy will be absolutely outraged at this waste of funds. Use these funds for something people care about! How about drug education, family planning, SCHOOLS ! WAKE UP MAYOR. Are you completely mesmerized by SPORTS ? What is up with you? REALLY ??
  • Onion
    Garland, please stop quoting and referencing the Onion as if main stream people get any real news from this rag. You are not helping the cause. The Onion is funny for about 2 seconds, max. You are correct that the cricket stadium is a bad idea and funds would be better used elsewhere. There should really be as study completed on people who reference The Onion. Maybe the $6MM would be better used for that prupose.
  • And the world continues to laugh at Indian-noplace.
    Go here: http://www.theonion.com/articles/indianapolis-announces-really-embarrassing-bid-for,26149 It would be funny if it weren't so true. We need to be putting our money into our infrastructure, into our symphony, our theaters, our museums–our community–into those things that really DO benefit Indianapolis. Not Cricket venues and Olympic bids and Superbowls that in all cases COST us money and in some cases cause us serious embarrassment. Ballard needs to get a clue. Or go away.
    • USA
      Tony,the problem is we are in the USA, remember. You were probably one of those guys saying the metric system was coming to the US back in the 1970's. Still not here, and there is no room for cricket on a large scale. Too many other "American" sports. Nothing wrong with cricekt or lacrosse or hurling, just too many other "American" sports. You can't be all things to all people.
    • not just cricket
      Note that the article states that the complex will also be capable of rugby and lacrosse. Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in the US. The emphasis on cricket is dictated by Ballard's current location - India, where cricket is very popular. This investment in the parks is better than giving another $2M to the Colts for new suites.
    • Crickets chirping.
      Are you getting the message Mayor Blowhard? You are a joke.
    • Vision
      The deep holes in the downtown area were derided and cursed in the 1980's. Not many saw it then either. Development is necessary. It just can't be done all at once in every neighborhood. Certainly no competing cricket venues regionally. Cricket is huge once you get outside the US. I do mean that seriously.
      • Wake up, Mayor
        I thought Ballard was the mayor of Indianapolis. He managed to forget that an Indy school, Butler, was in NCAA. Hope he enjoyed his free tickets in season. Why not sent some city funds for Hinkle, rather than continue to support our for profit sports teams. Butler is in Indianapolis and he needs to drive to 46th and Meridian to locate this fine institution that has been a part of Indianapolis for years.
      • Really????
        I just read more. He plans to take OUR $$ from the sale of OUR water company to pay for this????? What provision is there for a recall? Or impeachment? Can council override this idiocy?
      • JObbs????
        So he states these junkets are privately funded??? and lead to good business for the private companies that pay for the trips? So he should reimburse the city taxpayers for the prorated number of days that he is off the clock campaigning for private companies. His trips won't earn me or my employees a dime.
      • The Onion Mocks Greg Bollard
        Is it any wonder that The Onion regularly mocks Mayor Greg Bollard? http://www.theonion.com/articles/indianapolis-announces-really-embarrassing-bid-for,26149/ Sometimes it's better to just sit down and be quiet, Mr. Mayor, as opposed to removing all doubt.
      • Time for a law suit...
        We need real law firms to expose the corruption of the power brokers, law firms and banks inherent conflicts of interests who think these boondoggles up. We need to show how they are not doing what the people in this City have mandated as priorities, just to line these few people’s pockets!!! $6 plus million for a cricket stadium… Wow, this is going to bring in 10’s of 10’s of dollars into our City!!! What is Ballard smoking on his City funded vacations? India truly has to be laughing… at Indianaoplace… Sadly just another out of touch idea this administration "Ballard" and his cronies continue to bring to the table, for our City!!!
      • Oh No! Cricket in 'merica?
        I dislike a thing, therefore the thing must not have any merit! Spending money on something I don't personally care for... ridiculous! Down with politicians who disagree with me fundamentally!
      • Stupid
        $6 million for a cricket stadium? Ballard easily is the dumbest person to have ever been elected Mayor of Indianapolis.
      • Tough Crowd
        When someone mentions money being spent people just don't like it. I am not familiar with this area on Post, but if is part of renewing Indy and can be used for other purposes: outdoor concerts, etc. Why not? There are several eye-sores around the city that could use the same "renewing". We need to knock off a few of these areas each year. So what if we roll-the-dice on the cricket idea? As long as it is multi-functional and gets rid of an eye-sore, let's take a shot. And yes, let's make sure police officers have bulletproof vests too.
      • Dumb idea
        Connect it to downtown with light rail and all the young Indian professionals will flock to Indianapolis to live. Pffft.
      • Soccer Anyone?
        One wonders how difficult it would be to convert his cricket stadium to a soccer stadium for his friends and supporters?
      • Jobs????
        Show me one job or one penny that has come to our state from any of his travels..you cant do it. Its nothing but a free vacation for the Mayor
        • Really?
          I guess when your on a free vacation the local adult beverages are abundant. That is the only the only explanation that I can come up with for this boondoggle. We have police officers that don't have bullet proof vests ,yet Ballard wants to make Indy the Cricket capitol of the United States? I hope that who ever runs against him in the next election remembers this day and gets a copy of this article..Ballard is no longer electable
        • We shall see
          I see where we are going with this. I just hope it works. If this facility attracts even one new Indian business to Indy I say bravo! That is the point after all. It is about nurturing a more cosmopolitan or global environment that makes our city more attractive to the globe.
          • Political suicide
            Are all his political advisors just yes men and women, catering to his every whim? The voters are not going to forget this when there are much better things to do with that money - like fixing ROADS. How many years would it take to get this effort going and making money, 10, 20? Republicans are supposed to be fiscally penny pinchers. Pence is. Ballard is not.
          • What R They Smokin?
            Really???? Cricket??? With our hard erned dollars. What about POKER? Or Shuffleboard?
          • April Fools
            This must be a joke right? April Fools day was 2 weeks ago. Why don't they build something people in the US actually play, like baseball. I can't think of one city park that has a decent baseball field and we are going to spend $6MM on a cricket and hurling facility? Come on, quit messing with us. Prediction, you will be hearing crickets at this venue soon after it opens.
          • serious
            Well said!!
          • Dream Weaver
            What a hoot!!! The fact that our mayor is allocating funds from the sale of the Water/Sewer to Citizens Energy Group to make Indianapolis a synonym for Cricket in the International community is more ammunition that this office is run by a doofus.
          • Ballard Can't Be Serious.
            A $6 million sports complex while he allows the city's art scene to subsist on $1 million? I'd call it short-sighted if it wasn't patently stupid. The arts community brings $350 million per year to Indiana, yet we ignore it for ego spends on sporting events like the Super Bowl or sports complexes that COST the city money and bring us nothing but back slaps for a chosen few in return. Idiocy. Future celestial archaeologists aren't going to judge our culture by the zip line at the Super Bowl complex. But our music, our art, our literature - that is the true measure of who we are. And Mayor Ballard - and scores of other self-aggrandizing, ego-centric preeners like him – simply do not measure up in their own regard.

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