It’s official: Every single minor-league soccer team in North America now has a plan for joining MLS by getting a new stadium built. The latest candidate: The Indy Eleven, a team in the third-tier minor-league NASL that hasn’t even played its first game yet, but whose owner Ersal Ozdemir said Friday that it could totally join MLS if only it had an $87 million, 18,500-seat stadium.
And who’s going to pay for it?
Ersal Ozdemir said Friday night that he understands why Indianapolis taxpayers wouldn’t want to pay for yet another sports venue.
“I totally get that. People are just tired of that,” said Ozdemir, a local real estate developer. “Because of that, really, we were being very thoughtful of that.”
Right. And who’s going to pay for it?
Lobbyists are trying to find a lawmaker willing to shepherd a bill that would allow the team to capture ticket-tax revenue, plus sales taxes and state and local income taxes, to help it finance the project.
So by “very thoughtful,” Ozdemir meant “we’re still going to use tax dollars, but we’ll be thoughtful about actually coming clean to the public about this.” (He told the Indianapolis Star that, in their words, “debt for stadium construction could be paid off by accruing taxes from the downtown Professional Sports Development Area,” aka a TIF, aka developers’ favorite confusing hidden tax subsidy.) Though at least that’s more thought than he put into coming up with the team name.