The owner of Indy Eleven, the minor-league soccer team that hasn’t even played a game yet but is already looking for an upgrade to a major-league-size stadium, says he’s giving up on his quest for $87 million in state funding — for now:
“Having not been given a red card, we remain committed to working with legislators with an eye toward coming back next session and continuing the discussion about Indy Eleven’s successful launch and its economic impact on our community and state,” [Ersal] Ozdemir said.
A soccer stadium bill had already overwhelmingly passed a state house committee, so what happened? Notwithstanding the Twitterer who tried to credit me for the stadium’s momentary defeat (I did point out problems with Ozdemir’s ticket tax revenue projections and tell the Indianapolis Business Journal that they were “completely insane” — but then, a state agency later did a similarly gloomy analysis of ticket revenues, and economist Victor Matheson called the projections “absolutely crazy”), what seems to have happened is that the Senate president decided it’d be better to consider the bill next year:
Earlier Thursday, Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said in a news briefing there seem to be more questions than answers about the proposed Indy Eleven soccer stadium and that it would be better handled next year, when the legislature passes a state budget.
“My take on it right now is this may be a good idea,” Long said. “It doesn’t seem like it’s completely worked through yet. I think it would be wise for everyone to take a deep breath, step back and look at it.”
Note that Long is from Fort Wayne, and the Indianapolis soccer bill was presented as an amendment to a bill to expand the Fort Wayne Coliseum, and Fort Wayne legislators didn’t want to risk messing with that. So instead everyone is agreeing to reconvene in 2015, when either the question of how to pay for $5 million a year in arena bonds with $200,000 a year in ticket taxes will be “completely worked through,” or enough time will have passed that everyone will have forgotten that the numbers are crazy insane.