Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly said the team was taking on six owners instead of seven and omitted Brian Bauer as an owner.
The Indy Eleven on Thursday announced it was taking on seven additional owners to help the professional soccer team in its effort to build a $550 mixed-use development that includes a new stadium.
The seven join longtime owner Ersal Ozdemir as shareholders in the team. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. The team also did not disclose whether Ozdemir would retain majority ownership in the team, which was founded in 2013.
Joining the team as shareholders:
— Brian Bauer, president of Indiana University Health Fort Wayne;
— Don Gottwald, chief operating officer and chief strategy officer of Carmel-based KAR Auction Services Inc.;
— Shane Hageman, president of Carmel-based real estate investment firm Hageman Group;
— Jeffrey A. Laborsky, president and CEO of Indianapolis-based Heritage Environmental Services;
— Fred Merritt, president of Fort Wayne-based LFM Investments Inc.;
— Quinn Ricker, president and CEO of Anderson-based Ricker Oil Co.;
— Chris Traylor, co-president of Traylor Bros. Inc. and representative of Traylor Family Capital, both based in Evansville.
The group is expected to raise the statewide profile of Indy Eleven, Ozdemir said in a written statement.
“By welcoming this successful group of business and civic leaders from across our great state to our team, we send a strong signal that Indy Eleven is a true Indiana success story that is poised for the next level,” he said.
The ownership group announcement comes about three weeks after Ozdemir revealed plans for the proposed $550 million, private-public development called Eleven Park, which includes a 20,000-seat soccer stadium. A bill to help fund the $150 million stadium portion of the project is under consideration in the General Assembly.
The Eleven said the new owners also will have the "opportunity to invest" in Eleven Park, alongside Keystone Group, an Indianapolis-based real estate development, construction and investment company owned by Ozdemir. The company did not say whether investment in the project was required as part of the ownership agreement.
The Eleven said it is continuing to seek more investors for Eleven Park, which is expected to include retail and office space, apartments and a hotel.
While the ownership group includes several notable businessmen, missing are several potential investors who were identified two years ago when the team first launched an effort to join Major League Soccer, the top professional soccer league in North America. The team currently plays in the top division of the second-tier United Soccer League.
The previous group included local auto dealer Andy Mohr, Elwood Staffing President Mark Elwood and Mickey Maurer, a shareholder in National Bank of Indianapolis and in IBJ Corp., owner of Indianapolis Business Journal.
Mohr told IBJ at that time that he was committed to making a “substantial” investment in the team, and Maurer said he would consider becoming a shareholder if Indianapolis won a bid to the league.
Of the five individuals included on that potential investment list, only one—Laborsky—was named as an investor in the team on Thursday.