This week, Indy Eleven developers showed off to the public their “their $1B plan” that would be “groundbreaking” for everyone when it opens in 2025. The project includes a new soccer stadium and will cover an additional 20 acres of land that includes apartments, offices, and other entertainment spaces.
The founder of Indy Eleven told IndyStar that this project would add over 1000 jobs to the area. That man has been tried and failed to get a new soccer stadium built for so many years. Then in 2019, he tried a new tactic by mentioning to fans and officials that revenues from the stadium would support the project. Nothing of substance was ever given to the public showing this was true, but local officials agreed to build a new stadium.
Everything sounds great so far. They seem to have gotten many parts of this project nailed down. Surely, they can tell us how much this will cost taxpayers. Right? The cost to the public is “unclear”. Unclear because financing terms of this “public-private partnership” haven’t been announced. Nothing has been announced because Indy Eleven developers and local officials do not have a full agreement on all tax incentives to be included. So, not only can they not tell us, it may be some time before we know. It may be some time before the city and state know themselves the answer to that question.
The only information that we know comes from the 2019 State legislation that creates a special tax district around the new stadium that will pay for 80% of this project. Indy Eleven is forced to pay for the last 20% and any shortfalls. When the 2019 legislation was passed, the project cost just $150 million. Fast-forward a bit and the project is now going to cost $500 million to build. Fast-forward to today and the project cost went above $1 billion.
As the cost of the project exceeded $1 billion, Indy Eleven’s founder agreed in an article with IBJ.com, that he would not ask for additional taxpayer money than what “he was already being given”. Several sentences later, when IBJ.com began to go into the finances of the project, he then changed tune and claimed that it was “too early to speculate on specific aspects of the project’s financial structure”.
Oh, and just in case you were wondering, the Indy Eleven founder has asked for additional public money, so that promise didn’t last long.
“(Indy Eleven Founder) is talking with the city about whether any tax-increment-financing dollars might be available for the project, particularly the infrastructure-related components along Kentucky Avenue and the public plaza” – IBJ.com, 02/17/23
This project has been cost-confusing since it first was introduced to the public years ago. Occasionally, it can be confusing to keep up with how much the cost is increasing. Other times, it can be from reading Indy Eleven officials talk finances of the project and make no sense at all.
Reading about Indy Eleven’s CEO trying to tell the difference between existing and new taxes to WRTV was downright painful and just nowhere near accurate.
The best part about this deal is that it is rock solid that the tax revenues from around this soccer stadium will pay for the project itself. Exactly like what happened to the Indianapolis Colts. When their stadium was built, they used all sorts of taxes and revenues to pay for it. And it did…..wait, it didn’t?
“After close to 13 years, $633 million is still owed on Lucas Oil Stadium…The building will be 30 years old when it’s scheduled to be paid off in 2037” – WishTV.com, 04/01/21
Please keep in mind that after all the numbers are agreed upon, the city council still needs to approve all of this and nothing has been given to them. But we need to hurry up according to Indy Eleven. Hurry because city officials are being told by Indy Eleven that the new stadium is on a very “tight deadline”. Whose fault is that?