Ballard invites British royal couple to visit Indy's World Sports Park

February 17, 2014
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Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard certainly has some out-of-the box ideas. When it comes to the new 48-acre Indianapolis World Sports Park on the city’s east side, some might even say his ideas are out of this world.

Ballard recently proclaimed that he and his staff are in the process of trying to lure international dignitaries to Indianapolis for the national cricket championship to be played at the World Sports Park in August.

If you’re going to go fishing, I guess you might as well fish for the big ones. So Ballard reached out through the British Consulate to invite Prince William and Kate Middleton to visit the World Sports Park this summer. City officials, however, said William and Kate had to respectfully decline.

Undaunted, city officials said the mayor is putting out invitations to other high-level international dignitaries to see the Indianapolis World Sports Park, which the city paid $6 million last year to construct. The theory being that a visit from a high-level international dignitary (or two) would bring in more publicity for the new facility and the city.

The five multipurpose fields at the new facility are designed for soccer, lacrosse, hurling, rugby, Australian rules football and Gaelic football, in addition to cricket. It is also set up to accommodate 10,000 fans for big events.

Ballard thinks having more facilities like the World Sports Park that appeal to an international audience will help not only draw international visitors to the city but international companies and workers as well.

Already, Ballard insists, the investment in the World Sports Park is paying dividends. A flurry of positive press in places like India, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean nations—plus an agreement with the USA Cricket Association to host the men’s national championship here in 2014, 2015 and 2016—show the World Sports Park is a good investment, Ballard said. Next year’s USACA National Championships will be Aug. 21-24.

Ballard is hopeful that the USACA National Championships is just the type of event that could draw in high-level dignitaries from nations that love cricket.

Selling an international audience on the merits of the World Sports Park might be easier than selling it to Indianapolis residents. Of course, Indianapolis residents are the ones paying for it.
 

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  • 6 million dollar park
    Mayor Ballard does not care about the homeless he only cares to take care of the rich and business.My church and another take care of the homeless and Ballard does not want us to do that.He would like to see them die or go to some other city. What is wrong with are morels.This mayor does not CARE.
  • Ugh
    Why are his advisors letting the Mayor talk publicly? He always says something dumb when that happens. If the cricket stadium was not enough of a fiasco, Mayor Ballard took it up a notch.
  • Mushrooms
    Jonny - Morels are mushrooms. You may have meant morals. And I'm not the biggest fan of this Mayor but it's quite a stretch to associate his apparent affinity for cricket with a lack of empathy for the homeless. See them die? Really? Personally, I'd like to see more of them enter the workforce, but I doubt that anyone really wants them to die.
  • Sad or Funny
    This is so sad. Borderline delusional. Why would the Mayor's press people even allow this to be released. Can anyone imagine Daniels doing something like this? Never.
  • Go Big!
    I'm sorry, but I've liked this idea from the start. Those of us who have been NBAed and NFLed to death (speaking of only caring for the rich and famous!)need something to give us hope. Remember when soccer was an exotic and unfamiliar sport? Not to mention every college campus in the state pratically has a rugby team.
  • Sports Park
    What a joke...cricket anyone?...anyone? Thought so. If the royals show up make sure you have plenty of fried food and PBR...let's show them some Honest to Goodness Hoosier Pride.

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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