Indy's new soccer team blowing sales expectations 'out of the water'

March 7, 2013
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The startup minor league soccer team launched by developer Ersal Ozdemir is on the verge of nailing down deposits for 2,500 season tickets.

More than 2,000 deposits have been made and a deal with a youth soccer league for another 500 should close within 10 days, team officials say.

That would hit the season ticket goal of the unnamed North American Soccer League franchise almost 14 months before the team takes the field.

And it looks like Indianapolis will be among the league's leaders in attendance. In 2012, average NASL attendance was 3,810. Only two teams, San Antonio and Atlanta, averaged more than 4,500 fans per game.

“We’re blowing our expectations out of the water,” said Peter Wilt, the franchise president. “We haven’t even started our first phase of aggressive outreach.”

The team initially hoped to sell 2,500 season tickets, 1,500 group tickets and 1,000 individual tickets for each of 15 home games. The team’s first season starts in April 2014 at the IUPUI track and soccer stadium.

Sales have been so brisk that Wilt thinks the franchise may have to limit the number of season tickets sold. Buyers are required to put down $25. Seat selection begins this summer, when another $75 deposit will be required. Season tickets range from $135 to $390.

“We want to make sure we have some tickets available for group sales and we’d also like to have some [individual ticket] availability,” Wilt said. “We should be able to sell 6,000 to 7,000 season tickets, and the way it’s going now, we could get that.”

Depending on the seating configuration, the venue could hold as many as 12,000 for soccer, Wilt said.

Wilt, who formerly worked as general manager of the Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire, said the outpouring is due to pent-up demand.

Wilt credits the Brickyard Battalion, a local soccer fan club, for firing up ticket sales.

“They’re not only advocates for soccer in general and this team in particular, they’re evangelists,” Wilt said.

In early April, Wilt and Ozdemir expect to announce the name of the team and unveil the uniform design. They’re now gathering input from fans.

At the same time, Wilt said he’ll start hiring sales and marketing people and other front office employees for the team, which will initially be headquartered in a building at Maryland and Pennsylvania streets owned by Ozdemir.

“Once we get staff added, we’ll hit full outreach mode,” Wilt said. “And then you’ll see things really take off.”

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  • Brickyard Battalion: More Than A Fan Club
    We are NOT a fan club! We are a SUPPORTERS GROUP! We sing, we party, we LIVE for the club. We will make the city better through our lifestyle and ways. Thank you.
  • Fan club???
    Isn't a fan club a supporters group? Gotta love those Tifosi types.
    • No. Not a Fan Club.
      To me, a fan club is a group of people who pay a little extra money to get perks at the games.. Supporters are so much more.
      • Fan Club
        A "fan club" is also typically run by the organization they are fans of. A supporters group is a separate, independent entity. That's really the TECHNICAL difference.
      • Indy
        I freaking love this city. #IBelieveInBYB

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      1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

      2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

      3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

      4. Send them back NOW.

      5. deport now

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