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International soccer match draws 42,000 to Lucas Oil

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Close to 42,000 fans witnessed the biggest soccer match in Indianapolis history on Thursday night, as European rivals Chelsea and Inter Milan met in an exhibition match at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The official attendance was 41,983 in the 5-year-old football stadium, which was configured to seat about 61,000 for the match. The game, a quarterfinal match in the barnstorming Guinness International Champions Cup, was expected to draw more than 150 credentialed members of the media from five countries.

The first soccer game ever held at Lucas Oil also the first time a natural grass surface was laid inside the stadium, thanks to more than 100,000-square feet of Kentucky Bluegrass that was trucked in last weekend.

Indianapolis will give pro soccer another try next year with the Indy Eleven joining the North American Soccer League in 2014. The team will be Indy's ninth pro or semi-pro team since 1973. On Thursday night, it proudly hung its banner in the middle of the Colts' horseshoe on the north side of the stadium.

"It's nice that people can come to downtown Indianapolis to see international quality soccer rather than have to go to New York, Chicago or Los Angeles," said Juergen Sommer, coach of the Indy Eleven. "People really get it. The fan base for soccer is undersold here."

Oscar and Eden Hazard scored first-half goals, leading Chelsea to a 2-0 victory over Inter Milan.
 

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  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.

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