Monday, April 20, 2015

Indy Eleven Owner Now Says He Needs $60 Million For Suitable Stadium

It's a moving target what it would cost to build a new soccer stadium for Ersal Ozdemir's Indy Eleven, but those responsible for footing the bill have always remained the same--the taxpayers. Last year, the owner said it would take close to $90 million to build a new stadium when the House signed a blank check for him by passing legislation he sought before the Senate killed legislation calling for a publicly-financed stadium for the shadowy Turkish businessman's young minor league soccer team.

This year, the cost of that stadium dropped to $83 million. The House quickly signed off again on the deal after we learned the Speaker of the House and a member of his leadership were both on Ozdemir's payroll. The Senate stripped the plan and offered the businessman $20 million in state money to renovate Carroll Stadium on the IUPUI campus in downtown Indianapolis where the team currently plays. Senate lawmakers said Ozdemir could pay for more costly improvements if he wanted a better stadium than the $20 million would buy.

A bait-and-switch amendment hastily added in the Senate before passage allowed Carroll Stadium to be razed and replaced by an entirely new stadium without the track and field component after the corrupt Ballard administration promised city dollars to pay for the extra costs of the stadium demanded by the Indy Eleven owner. This is the same mayor who promised $50 million in projects to five Democratic council members to get them to pass the criminal justice center he wants built under a public-private partnership agreement that will royally screw over Indianapolis taxpayers for decades to come. Indy Eleven's owner is very pleased with the deal because he knows he won't be paying a dime for the new stadium.
It’s all about creating a new home for the Indy Eleven, an 18,000 seat stadium that might lead to Major League Soccer in Indianapolis. 
Indiana University, however, says that Carroll Stadium is likely suitable only for demolition and that, rather than renovation, it would like to see a new stadium built that could also be used for NCAA championships in soccer and other sports. 
“If you want to build for professional soccer or an event type facility,” said Indiana University Vice President Tom Morrison, “it’s probably going to necessitate building almost a new stadium on that footprint that’s probably between $50 and $60 million.” 
Lawmakers are working on a plan that would limit state government investment to $20 million. “I think the other parties would need to contribute,” said Rep. Todd Huston (R-Fishers) “but we define what the state’s contribution would be.” That means $30 to $40 million would have to come from the team, the city, and Indiana University if the stadium plan is to succeed. Indy Eleven team officials say they can work with this plan.
At a conference committee meeting today on HB 1273, a representative of Indiana University first told bill conferees the stadium demanded by Ozdemir would cost at least $50 to $60 million and would require razing Carroll Stadium and starting from scratch. That's after the media lied to you about the Senate-passed plan, saying it limited public investment in the project to just $20 million when the bill passed by the Senate said no such thing. Advance Indiana, alone, told you that the plan called for razing Carroll Stadium.

Chances are that your lawmaker supports this big giveaway to Ozdemir since HB 1273 has passed both the Housen and Senate by very wide margins. You need to start asking your lawmakers what they've been promised in exchange for selling your interests down the river to enrich this man. You certainly aren't going to get any help from the useless media in this state, which does little more than write press releases for the people raping and pillaging our state.


Anonymous said...

I wish Ozdemir would move back to Turkey and beg them to TAX AND SPEND to make him rich.

Here in Indianapolis, I say NO to giving our tax money away. I say NO to sending money overseas to Turkey.

P. S. I also said NO to that loser Cricket field that cost taxPAYERS big money.

Anonymous said...

Justin Moed had an interesting comment in today's Star article, "expressing concern about the limited space around the stadium for economic development". This is what it's really about for Ozdemir and the downtown mafia - mixed use development around a taxpayer-financed stadium. Yet another money pit of shiny new things for downtown. Unfortunately I think this is where the conversation is headed. It started with rehabilitating Carroll Stadium, then it turned into a complete rebuild, now we're hearing it needs to be a multi-purpose facility and the existing site doesn't have enough room. IUPUI has wanted for years to use the land for something else anyways so they're inherently onboard. Now we're going to start hearing about all the potential the stadium has to spur development, all of which will come with massive subsidies just like everything else that is supposedly in high demand downtown.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 6:31 and other similarly minded Marion County taxpayers.... if wishes were horses, we'd all be riding. Corny? Trite? Possibly. But so is the idea that Democrat or Republican politicians and their machines actually care what you or I think on the matter of "sports stadiums". When Ersal Ozdemir can own your sorry ass like a piece of meat in the Keystone Construction Political Harem- [hello, corrupt Brian Brosma and Murray Clark et al.!]- it matters not at all what we the lowly unclean think.