Q. What league will Indy Eleven compete in … and when?
A. Indy Eleven will begin play in the North American Soccer League (NASL) in the spring of 2014. The current version of the NASL was founded in 2009 and took the the field in 2011, while the original NASL was the first division in North American soccer from 1968 to 1984. In 2011, the NASL received recognition from U.S. Soccer as the exclusive second division men’s professional league (D-2). The 2013 NASL season started with seven teams – Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina Railhawks, Edmonton FC, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Minnesota United FC, San Antonio Scorpions and Tampa Bay Rowdies – which were joined by the renewed New York Cosmos for the Fall Season. The Puerto Rico Islanders are currently on hiatus with the expectation of returning for the 2014 campaign.
Indianapolis is currently designated as the NASL’s 12th team, following on the heels of announcement by its 2014 expansion brethren Ottawa Fury FC and Virgina Calvary FC . Oklahoma City and Jacksonville have also already been tabbed to join the NASL ranks for the 2015 season. More information is available at NASL.com.
Q. What is the format of the NASL season?
A. By featuring two separate and distinct competitions beginning in 2013, the NASL made a historic change to its soccer schedule/format to align the league more with the world soccer calendar. The first competition began in early April and wrapped up over July 4th weekend, with the Atlanta Silverbacks making a late charge and winning the Spring Season in dramatic fashion in the 12th and final round. The second competition, to consist of 14 matches, began on August 3 and will continue through early November. As the victor of the Spring Season, Atlanta has earned the right to host NASL Soccer Bowl 2013 against the winner of the Fall Season, with the match scheduled to be played at Atlanta Silverbacks Park on Saturday, November 9.
The NASL has already announced that the split-season format will remain for the 2014 season, with the opening campaign to include a 10-game sprint starting on April 5 and lasting up until a one-month break for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, starting in mid-June. Following Brazil 2014, the NASL will pick things back up with a 20-game season running from July 19 to November 15. Once again, the winner of the Spring Season will earn the right to host the Soccer Bowl.
Q. Where will Indy Eleven games be played in 2014?
A. The team is in talks with Indiana University to play its inaugural season home games at IUPUI’s Michael A. Carroll Stadium, which was one of five area venues listed in an Indy Eleven website poll as options for the team to play. Fans selected Carroll over the other four venues in the fan preference poll. Carroll’s central location, high quality Field Turf Revolution soccer field and ease of access and parking were all important elements recognized by fans and ownership in its selection. Most, if not all NASL regular season home games at Carroll Stadium will be contested on Saturday evenings, allowing fans to avoid weeknight/campus traffic and parking congestion.
Q. Where will Indy Eleven play in the long term?
A. Indy Eleven is actively working with appropriate parties to develop a new soccer venue that would be scaled for anticipated NASL crowds and expandable for future growth, with a focus on long-term sustainability. The new venue would be ideally located at a central and easily accessible location in Greater Indianapolis with suites, premium seating, appropriate capacity and sightlines, comfortable fan and team amenities and a playing surface all designed for soccer at the highest level.
Q. Where will Indy Eleven’s players come from?
A. NASL teams are comprised of some of the most talented professional soccer players in the United States as well as outstanding international players. Last season, NASL players came from 30 countries, the District of Columbia and 27 states including Indiana. The high caliber of talent developed locally and at the state’s men’s college soccer programs means the team will feature a good number of Indiana players. Indy Eleven leadership strongly believes that Indiana talent should be reflected in the makeup of the state’s professional soccer team.
Q. How much will tickets cost?
A. Indy Eleven’s debut season will mark the highest caliber of professional soccer ever played in Indiana, and the club has priced the tickets in a way to allow the greatest number of fans possible to attend the games. Discounts will be offered for all price ranges for youth groups, season tickets and various promotions to maximize attendance and broaden the team’s appeal. Season tickets range from $135 to $390 for 15 games. Individual ticket prices range from $10 to $30. A limited number of high end premium club seats and suites will also be offered.
Q. So, why Indy Eleven?
A. Before Indy Eleven was even officially born as Indy Pro Soccer on January 16, 2013, a “Name the Team” advisory poll ran online during fall 2012 and winter 2013, providing eventual team management with critical input into the name, colors and identity of the team. Indy Eleven would like to thank the Andy Mohr Automotive Group for sponsoring the poll and the more than 6,000 people who submitted their entries.
After 99 days of accepting input from the community and shaking out numerous possibilities, the club introduced its Indy Eleven identity – including the official crest and team colors – during a ceremony at the iconic Soldiers and Sailors Monument. The Indy Eleven identity is rich with symbolism, beginning with the name itself, a fresh nod towards club names that evoke traditional soccer culture, referencing the eleven men taking to the field of play in a fashion that is unique to the American soccer landscape. At the same time, Indy Eleven pays homage to the state’s history as a reference to Indiana’s 11th Regiment in the Civil War, which was founded on today’s date, April 25th, in 1861.
The focal point of the Indy Eleven crest is the statue of Victory, the beloved Indianapolis landmark that watched over the day’s proceedings perched atop the Soldiers and Sailors monument. The Victory-adorned crest will be worn over the players’ hearts, serving as a constant reminder of the city the team represents and the goal the club strives to achieve on the field.
Indy Eleven’s color scheme and the circled star at the point of the team crest echo that of the civic flag of Indianapolis, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in May. With the adoption of these symbols, the club hopes to represent the staunch civic pride fostered by local residents through having its players, staff and fans drape themselves in the red-white-and-blue of Indianapolis and the Eleven.
The checkered background of the crest might at first seem a nod to Indianapolis’ longtime auto-racing culture, but reaches deeper than that as a connection to the Brickyard Battalion, the supporters group that proved vital in helping return professional soccer to the Circle City. Indy Eleven and the Brickyard Battalion also share another important link in Patrick Cummings, the Indianapolis-based graphic designer and BYB member that designed the team’s crest.
Q. How can I help out?
A. The vision for Indy Eleven is one that is built from the bottom up and represents the community at large. Indy Eleven needs anyone in Indiana with a passion for soccer and a desire for it to have a successful professional soccer team to do the following:
1) Promote the team to your personal and professional networks.
2) Purchase season tickets by placing a $25 per season ticket deposit which will assure your place in the seat selection priority list.
3) Provide your input into the team’s development by telling the team’s management what you want to see in this team.
Q. How will Indy Eleven help the soccer community?
A. Indy Eleven recognizes that this team has a responsibility to use its resources to give back to the same community that will be supporting it. This means the team will provide outreach to the youth soccer community to help more kids participate in soccer. They will also inspire those already in the sport to play longer with an aspiration influenced by role models wearing our uniforms. Indy Eleven will be committed to giving back and helping make its community a better place to work, live and play. The team will be a platform for the state’s best players to be ambassadors in the community, showcase their skills, live their dreams and have the chance to launch a career on a bigger stage.
Indy Eleven will also provide positive economic impact for the community. Up to 50 full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs will be directly created. The team will also generate millions of dollars of direct and indirect spending that will foster significant local economic impact.
Q. How can I provide input into the team?
A. Indy Eleven is always looking for ideas and direction from Indiana’s soccer community. Please contact the team’s senior executive, Peter Wilt with your thoughts, comments and questions. You can contact Peter at email@example.com or 1-317-292-7993.