“Probably an outdoor stadium that has multiple uses. We want to play multiple sports in it. I think that’s important. I think it should be downtown and then we’ll go from there,” said Ballard . . .
During an interview in his conference room, Mayor Ballard recalled the team’s box office success in 2014. They “did sell out every game, last year,” he said. “I went to a couple. Let me tell you, there’s a lot of enthusiasm for this. This is kind of like pent-up demand.”
Critics worry that the team won’t be able to fill the 18,500 seats in the new building. Then, they fear other taxpayers will be forced to pay for a sport they don’t watch. Ballard doesn’t seem worried about that. “Millennials are all there,” he said. They grew up playing the game. “So the demographics are only going to get better for any soccer team in Indianapolis,” said Ballard.
Ballard also compared the stadium concept to the construction of Lucas Oil Stadium. He said we didn’t want to use that building just “ten times a year. You want to use it much more than that.” The same is true of the stadium desired by the Indy Eleven. “We need to make sure it has lots of uses to it,” Ballard said.
The Mayor even sees a parallel to the era when Indianapolis claimed the title of “Amateur Sports Capitol of the World.” The investments Indianapolis made in the 1970s and 1980s “worked out pretty well for us.”Um, the investments in sports made in the 70s and 80s (i.e., Market Square Arena, RCA Dome, RCA Tennis Center and Pan Am Ice Skating Center) have all been torn down. Carroll Stadium where the Indy Eleven currently plays was built just for the Pan Am Games and allowed to fall into bad disrepair just like the Natatorium.
Too bad WISH-TV doesn't have the video online. Ballard was slurring his words during the interview like he was drunk or drugged or had just returned from the dentist. Has anyone ever seen a reporter in this town sit down and conduct a serious interview with Ballard during his two terms as mayor where he is actually asked some tough questions besides the occasional, rare unscripted on-the-run interview where Ballard is obviously dodging a reporter trying to ask tough questions and flies off the handle with the drop of a pin?
UPDATE: Someone at WISH-TV must be reading this blog. There's now a small snippet of the interview online now.