Indy Eleven ticket sales far exceeding projections

November 11, 2013
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The Indy Eleven this weekend hit 7,000 season ticket deposits and is the first North American Soccer League franchise with a season ticket waiting list. And it’s still five months before the professional soccer team plays its first game.

Indy Eleven will initially play at the 12,500-seat Michael A. Carroll Track and Soccer Stadium, but team officials capped season tickets at 7,000 so they would have some tickets for group and corporate sales.

By 2017, team owner Ersal Ozdemir hopes to have a new 8,000- to 12,000-seat downtown venue built for his team. He may already have a site picked out.

For the team’s inaugural season, ticket demand has far exceeded original projections by team officials.

“We launched back in January with modest ticketing goals, and adjusting our plans to keep up with our fans’ response has been the best possible challenge for our staff,” explained Peter Wilt, Indy Eleven president and general manager. “To continue meeting that demand we are rolling out the first season ticket waiting list for an NASL team, allowing more opportunities for fans that hope to enjoy every game next year to do so in the five months leading up to kickoff.”

 “The commitment shown by Indy Eleven fans to help our club grow has been inspiring for everyone associated with the team,” Ozdemir added. “This early response sends the strongest signal yet that professional soccer will thrive here in Indiana.”

Indy Eleven officials expect a number of additional season ticket spots to open up ahead of opening day next April. Fans will be able to secure “a priority spot” on the season ticket waiting list with the $25-per-seat deposit, Wilt said.

To commemorate this latest milestone in the club’s growth, Indy Eleven will host a Celebrate 7,000 party tonight at the Indiana Historical Society from 6  p.m. to 8 p.m. During the RSVP-only Veterans Day celebration, which will be open only to season ticket holders, Indy Eleven will make several announcements.

During the event’s formal presentation, set to begin at 6:45 p.m., Indy Eleven officials will introduce new players with local ties to the team’s official roster, welcome the first assistant coach in team history and announce community and corporate partnerships with organizations with military ties to commemorate Veterans Day.

During the festivities tonight, Indy Eleven officials will announce that they've reached a deal to make the Indiana National Guard the team's second official sponsor. Honda was announced as the team's first official corporate partner last month.

Highlights of the agreement include Indy Eleven’s participation in the Indiana Army National Guard’s “Books and Boots” program to promote reading and literacy in local schools; the creation of a “Tickets for Troops” ticket donation program that will allow Indiana National Guard families opportunities to attend Indy Eleven matches and game-day sponsorship activation centering around participation in pre-game ceremonies and the team’s planned pre-game celebration area.

Indy Eleven officials also revealed that a partnership has been struck with the not-for-profit organization, Operation: Job Ready Vets. Indy Eleven will work with the organization to find qualfied workers to meet various staffing needs for the soccer team, including handling game-day operations. Eleven officials also are committed to help the organization connect military vets with jobs that the team's sponsors have available.

Despite strong early ticket sales, Ozdemir said team leaders have no thoughts of easing up their sales and marketing efforts. Team officials, he said, have already started planning for the placement of luxury suites and club-type seats and amenities at the IUPUI facility to accommodate corporate and other group ticket buyers.

  • $$$
    From the article: "By 2017, team owner Ersal Ozdemir hopes to have a new 8,000- to 12,000-seat downtown venue built for his team." So, who'd going to pay for this if Mr. Ozdemir is hoping to have the stadium built for him? Why wouldn't he pay for it? It's his idea and team, right?
  • $$$$
    Harvey, of course Mr Ozdemir expects the stadium to be built for him, free of cost. Just like his buddy Mayor Ballard built him the Broad Ripple garage for free.
    • Honesty
      Andrew I think you need to tell a little more of the story. These are not really season tickets being sold. These are $25 deposits being sold with no obligation to end up buying season tickets. When it does come time for some of these individuals and corporations to pony up the final bill, then let's see how many are sold.
      • Whoops
        Sorry, I meant Anthony. Just sent an email to an Andrew.
      • Anthony, This morning on WIBC you mentioned that you thought a soccer venue of 8k to 12k seats (expandable to 20k) built at the GM Plant site would scavenge from existing venues and may cause issues. I am trying to figure that one out. You mentioned Victory Field. Other than baseball and the occasional concert, what does The Vic host that would be tempted to go to a new soccer stadium? You mentioned Bankers Life. I could see some overlap on concerts, but Bankers Life does not hold many concerts in the summer with most going to Deer Creek/Verizon/Klipsch/. Again I am not seeing many events at Bankers Life that would be poached by a new soccer venue. Finally you mentioned Lucas Oil. I am not sure how a 8k to 12k soccer stadium would host events that would normally go to Lucas. You mentioned IHSAA Football Tourney. I don't think Lucas Oil makes much if anything on hosting those games. I would bet it is at best a wash. Losing it to the soccer stadium would probably not hurt and could help Lucas by opening up dates they could host other events. On the IHSAA side, I am not sure why they would want to go from the biggest venue in the state and that prestige to a smaller outdoor stadium a decent walk away from downtown ammenities. I think the soccer stadiums biggest competition would be with Deer Creek/Verizon/Klipsch by pulling some of the smaller concerts from there to downtown, similar to the Tennis Center when they had concerts there, or pulling from The Lawn at White River Park. I see the new stadium being a great location for many events that do not have a high profile location to perform in. Put a track in there or a removable one and you could host track and field events and IUPUI could bring down Carroll Stadium which they have wanted to do for years. As you said, it could be a place for many NCAA and olympic trials such as Field Hockey, Soccer, Track, Rugby etc.... If I am missing something, let me know.
        I think you might find a large portion of those deposits have already been collected in full. Have a nice day..go brighten someone else's day .
      • $$$$
        No, no, no. Mr Ozdemir doesn't expect the stadium to be built for free. He expects the stadium to be built for profit! Who's construction company do you think will be selected to build the stadium for Mr. Ozdemir? Mr. Ozdemir's construction company! Step 1: Ask mayor for tax funded stadium Step 2: Step 3: Profit!

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