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, with opening day set for April 12 against the Carolina RailHawks. 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.
Indy Eleven is set to join the NASL alongside its 2014 expansion brethren Ottawa Fury FC, while Virginia Calvary FC and start-ups in Oklahoma City and Jacksonville have 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 consisted of 14 matches, and league newcomer New York Cosmos slowly ran away from the pack over the final half of the Fall Season, setting up a showdown with the Silverbacks in Atlanta on November 9. A goal by Spanish standout midfielder Marcos Senna would propel the Cosmos into the lead early in the second half and stand tall to give New York its first Soccer Bowl crown in over 30 years.
The NASL has already announced that the split-season format will remain for the 2014 season, with the opening campaign to include a nine-game sprint starting on April 12 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 an 18-game season running from July 12 to November 1. 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 will call 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. Thirteen of the squad's 14 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 on a bill to present to the Indiana General Assembly that will fund an 18,500-seat multi-use facility in downtown Indianapolis - a bill that would do so by raising the state's Professional Sports District Area cap and not city or state taxes. While this proposed venue will be built to showcase the beautiful game and give Indy Eleven a new home, the stadium would also serve as a host for concerts, other amatuer and professional sporting events and community functions. Click here for for an FAQ detailing why now is the time to begin this important project that can cement the legacy of the world's game in Indiana for generations to come.
Q. Where will Indy Eleven’s players come from?
A. The team's leadership has stated that the mix of players on the roster will be evenly distributed between local, national and international talent - and the early results have borne that out. The high caliber of talent developed locally and at the state’s men’s collegiate soccer programs means the team will feature a good number of Indiana players. Half of the club's 11 signings through early February include players either raised in the Hoosier State (Chris Wey, Nathan Sprenkel & Baba Omosegbon) or starred at local universities (Mike Ambersley & Brad Ring).
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. Click here for a seating map of Carroll Stadium, which includes the full pricing guide for the 2014 season.
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 Lady 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 tickets - be it for one game or the entire season - and help the team reach its 11,000-capacity mark for each and every contest at Carroll Stadium.
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, and its hand-in-hand partnership with Indiana Soccer has been vital in this continuing outreach process across the state. 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 reach out to the team’s President and General Manager, Peter Wilt, with your thoughts, comments and questions. You can contact Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-317-292-7993.