Indy Eleven exec to fans: Sorry we couldn’t get your tax money, we’ll try again next year

And in the least surprising news of ever, Indy Eleven president Peter Wilt confirmed that just because the Indiana state legislature failed to give his team a big pile of money for a new or renovated stadium, he and his owner aren’t going to stop asking for a big pile of money in the future:

Indy Eleven will continue to pursue the first-division-quality stadium that you deserve and will showcase Indiana’s fastest growing sport.

Historically, the only way stadium subsidy demands ever go away is if the team owner gets tired of waiting and pays for things himself, or maybe once in a blue moon if the team is sold and the new guy decides it’s not worth fighting over. Otherwise, why the heck not keep asking? Especially when you’re just a couple of loopholes away from getting what you wanted in the first place?


6 comments on “Indy Eleven exec to fans: Sorry we couldn’t get your tax money, we’ll try again next year

  1. Neil, you overlooked another possibility: the team folds. That’s what’s going to happen here without a new “public-private” stadium.

  2. I find it ironic that what has to be the #7 sport in this country, probably behind golf, has to be the largest subsidy-leach. It just doesn’t make sense.

  3. Readers of Field of Schemes are well aware that soccer is nowhere near the biggest subsidy leach in sports. You got to add a lot of zeroes (at the end) to move soccer up.

  4. I’m not totally clear on why the team folding would be some terrible tragedy. Or at least any worse than a favorite restaurant closing. Maybe they should sell more tickets?

  5. Had the Lucas Oil planners had an ounce of foresight (or backbone) the Eleven could be playing there and we could avoid this conversation altogether. Instead the facility is barely adequate for soccer and the deal with Irsay puts a large portion of game day revenue for potential tenants in his pocket.
    Ben & GDub, Why would the team fold? They’re selling plenty of tickets, almost all they can. Consistently drawing more than 10,000 without having many victories or any world class players tells me there is a desire for professional soccer in Indy. Don’t let your opinion of the stadium bias your opinion of the sport’s viability in Indy.
    Mike, Please check your stats on soccer’s popularity in the US (as well as which leagues suck up the most taxpayer funds). MLS has higher attendance than NBA and NHL, and there were greater TV ratings for women’s soccer than the World Series or NBA Finals. Please tell me again how soccer will never catch on in the US, I need another laugh today.

  6. I’m a soccer fan, and do think the sport is growing in popularity in the U.S., but there’s no way “MLS has higher attendance than NBA and NHL.” Sure, it has higher per-game attendance, because many of its teams play in stadiums far bigger in capacity than NBA/NHL arenas. But they also play far fewer games, so the number of actual human beings going to MLS games is far less than for the NBA or NHL.

    Also, let’s be real: MLS “ticket sales” figures almost never reflect actual fannies in seats, and are goosed by massive numbers of deeply discounted tickets. I’ve gone to a dozen or so Red Bulls games the last few years, and I don’t think I’ve ever paid more than $7.

    (I don’t see why Indy Eleven would fold either, though. They are selling some tickets, and their operating costs have to be dirt-cheap.)

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