FC Indiana, a United Soccer League W-League women’s team, says it is in early discussions with the city of Indianapolis to help develop a plan to renovate Bush Stadium for use during its home games.
The Lafayette-based professional team currently plays at Kuntz Stadium, which is across 16th Street from the old baseball stadium.
The FC Indiana ownership group believes that, “In the light of the demand… for modern soccer facilities – the time is right,” said FC Indiana Director Shek Borkowski.
Bush Stadium needs general renovation and cleaning of the interior and exterior, a new playing surface, massive clubhouse renovations, and new offices and seating, FC Indiana says. The team also wants luxury suites built.
However, the idea is being met skeptically by the local sports community.
Estimated costs to re-open the former home of the Indianapolis Indians are in the low seven-figures. The venue was opened in 1931 as Perry Stadium, and was home to the AAA minor league baseball franchise Indianapolis Indians until 1996. The Indians now play downtown at 12-year-old Victory Field.
An odd assortment of activities have been proposed for the stadium. A dirt track backed by Indianapolis Motor Speedway boss Tony George failed in the late 1990s. Indiana Black Expo also used the facility for a variety of events. City officials considered playing high school football and other events there during the last seven years, but abandoned the ideas because they were deemed too costly.
FC Indiana isn’t the only high-level women’s team to try to make a go of it in Indianapolis. The Indiana Blaze competed in the W-League starting in the 1990s, but went out of business due to financial constraints in 2001.