A group of Indianapolis business executives is laying the groundwork to launch a professional soccer team here in 2014.
Members of the group, who have remained private to date, launched a website this month www.indyprosoccer.com —seeking input into the team’s stadium and pledges for season tickets. They’re also taking suggestions for a name and colors for the team, which would play in the North American Soccer League but would consider joining Major League Soccer in the future.
Your input will have a huge impact to bring the professional team to Indianapolis. For this reason, Indiana Soccer encourages you to visit the website www.indyprosoccer.com and provide your suggestions about the name and the colors of the team!
The group has hired Peter Wilt, a 25-year soccer executive and former President and General Manager of Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire, to advance its bid.
Faegre Baker Daniels partner and former Republican state senator Murray Clark said he knows the members of the group and is confident they have the juice to start and operate a pro soccer team.
“The business acumen of this group is at a very, very high level,” said Clark, board chairman for the Indiana Soccer Association, a group that has about 60,000 youth and 6,000 adult members. “Peter Wilt is well known in soccer circles nationally and brings a real measure of credibility to this effort. This is a very substantive initiative.”
Indiana Soccer Association believes that once this initiative is defined and good to go, it will elevate the popularity of the game in the state of Indiana and bring many more people to play the most popular sport in the world.
Channel 8 interviewed the Indiana Soccer director of education, Steve Franklin and George Perry, commissioner of the Indiana Soccer League (ISL) to get their impressions and feelings about the professional team in Indianapolis.
“Having watched many of the superstars like Pele, Cruyff, Beckenbauer and Best in the old NASL growing up in Rochester, it allowed me the role models to hone my own skills as a player. Having our own NASL team in Indianapolis will give our youth players an opportunity to see soccer played at the professional level firsthand. It will also allow many of the players from our solid collegiate programs throughout the state of Indiana to have a place to take their game to the next level. It will only enhance what we are trying to promote here at Indiana Soccer.” Steve Franklin stated.
Having so many children currently playing the sport and more families learning and enjoying the sport, Indiana Soccer believes that the team will have a great fan base.
“I believe there is a great base to draw from to support a professional team in Indianapolis. The difference between now and when I was involved with the Indianapolis Daredevils (1978/9), there would be more of a full time presence with this team. In 1978, the players were here for the season and then gone until the next season. Building community support year round will be a plus for the new program. Also, in 1978, there were not as many 25 + year olds working in the area that had a strong playing background. That has certainly changed as can be seen in the Seattle and Portland which has tremendous support from this demographic group. Hopefully we can develop that type of support in the Indianapolis area.” George Perry stated.
Indiana Soccer will continue working with this group to make sure that the players affiliated to Indiana Soccer get the benefits of having a professional team in the city. But, remember that your input is critical. Please visit www.indyprosoccer.com and bring your ideas!
If you want to continue supporting the effort and learn more about the initiative, Peter Wilt will be conducting the group's 4th Fan Forum at Off the Wall indoor soccer center in Carmel Tuesday, December 4th at 7 pm where he will be providing updates and answering questions.
To see the report in Channel 8, please click on the following link: PRO TEAM IN INDY