Legislation to extend timeline for Indy Eleven stadium heads to governor

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Legislation that will give the Indy Eleven more time to finalize plans for a permanent soccer stadium is headed to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk.

The Indiana House on Thursday voted 83-6 to approve Senate Bill 385, which adds two years to a 2019 bill that had called for a new special tax district—known as a professional sports development area, or PSDA—to be established in Marion County by mid-2022. The bill extends that date to July 1, 2024.

The Senate voted 45-0 last month to approve the bill, authored by Sen. Jack Sandlin, R-Indianapolis.

The PSDA would capture taxes spent in a designated geographical area surrounding the stadium to help finance the project. The Indy Eleven would be required to sign a long-term agreement with the city’s Capital Improvement Board (which also owns and operates the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium) and pay for 20% of the stadium construction costs.

The new PSDA would have to be enacted by the city’s Metropolitan Development Commission once a deal is struck between the city and the team.

Passed in 2019, Senate Bill 7 included language approving the creation of an additional PSDA in the county, as well as other measures, such as $270 million for renovations to Bankers Life Fieldhouse and an expansion of existing PSDAs.

SB 7 allowed up to $9.5 million annually in tax revenues to be captured for up to 32 years to pay off bonds for an outdoor soccer stadium. Sandlin’s bill would mean collections could start either once all requirements are met as part of a deal, or on June 30, 2023—whichever is sooner.

Sandlin has previously said the unexpected pandemic caused the need for the extended timeline for the soccer stadium.

Indy Eleven officials have said they plan to announce a location for the proposed $550 million Eleven Park development, which would include a stadium, by the end of March.

For years, Indy Eleven has eyed various sites in the downtown area, including the former Valspar site west of Lucas Oil Stadium, but it’s not entirely clear where the team now plans to build its development or if that site remains in contention.

IBJ reported in January 2020 that the team had scaled back its initial plans for a 20,000-seat stadium. Instead, the team is pursuing a venue that has at least 12,000 seats and could be expanded as the fan base grows.

Wherever the project goes, tax dollars would be used to help fund only the stadium portion. The remainder of Eleven Park—including apartments, retail, office and parking—would be privately funded.

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9 thoughts on “Legislation to extend timeline for Indy Eleven stadium heads to governor

  1. I’m so glad that our esteemed legislature is giving more time for their buddy/donor to suck us dry with another money-sink stadium while at the same time trying to kneecap Indianapolis’ transit agency.

    1. Behold the priorities of the Marion County GOP … little wonder they can’t win elections.

  2. What exactly does ” The PSDA would capture taxes spent in a designated geographical area surrounding the stadium to help finance the project.” mean? We don’t know where the stadium will be yet, do we?

    1. I imagine it means that once the stadium site is announced, they’ll just draw a circle around it of whatever size is necessary to siphon off the required tax revenue to pay for 80% of the stadium.

    2. It means that local and state taxes, including income and sales taxes, generated by the entire development will be used to fund the stadium.

  3. i understand the frustration of many who live in Indy over this bill but lets be honest,sports and conventions is what indy is built off of. Florida has Disney,Nashvile has country music,Louisville has Derby and Indy has its covention,sports and tendrlion. eveery city and state has a drawing appeal and this project lines up with the image Indy is trying to capitalize on nationally.Theres nothing odd about this at all when we look at the bigger picture of Indys driving economic machine.

    1. Well, Disney specifically created its own government (Reedy Creek Improvement District) so its private money wouldn’t be siphoned off by other leeches, er governments, and country music and horse breeding naturally (i.e. that pesky free market) arose in Nashville and the Bluegrass, respectively. But Indy’s potholes are the only thing that naturally occur when taxpayers siphon money to the Irsays, Simons, and Ozdemirs.

    2. And the best analogy to horse racing and country music for Indy is IndyCar, yet Penske, one of the biggest donors to High Tax Holcomb, moved his IndyCar operations to NASCAR Country, and now is at the teat with the absurd $100 million “loan” to IMS courtesy of the “conservatives” Pence and Bosma.

    3. Penske’s IndyCar operations have never been in Indiana. They were in Pennsylvania before they were consolidated in Charlotte. And that loan was pushed for by the Hulman/George family before Penske bought the place… and it needs a half-billion to fully renovate it. But that’s another topic.

      I understand the money spent on Colts/Pacers as these are multi-use facilities. The need for another soccer stadium – when we could renovate the stadium on the IUPUI campus – befuddles me.

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