As documented in the 2020 book, RECONOMICS: The Path To Resilient Prosperity, Indianapolis, Indiana is one of the few U.S. cities that has successfully revitalized it downtown via sports stadiums.
For most cities, these me-too, stadium-based plans have been expensive failures that subsidized for-profit companies at taxpayer expense. And even when the stadium itself was successful, the hoped-for downtown revitalization seldom appeared.
More recently, we’ve seen a new trend emerge, whereby neighborhoods and downtowns are being revitalized by the redevelopment of stadiums.
We’ve seen several examples of this here in REVITALIZATION, such as in St. Petersburg, Florida and San Diego, California.
The latest example of this more-recent redevelopment trend comes—appropriately enough—from Indianapolis.
On February 17, 2023, the United Soccer League Championship’s Indy Eleven and the Keystone Group unveiled renderings of plans for the transformational Eleven Park neighborhood redevelopment, anchored by a new multipurpose stadium.
With an expected capacity of around 20,000 seats, the stadium will serve as the new home for Indy Eleven, situated in the center of a development set to transform the southwest quadrant of downtown Indianapolis with apartments, office space, retail space, restaurants, parking garages, a hotel and public plazas with green space.
The stadium, with the architects at Populous leading the design, and Browning Day as architect of record. The firms says that it is designed both to enhance fan experience and maximize neighborhood revitalization by paying attention to the structure’s relationship to its site.
“A world-class stadium is designed as a true destination, a reflection of its community and a catalyst for growth in the area. This is our mission with the new stadium for Indy Eleven,” said Phil Kolbo, a principal at global design firm Populous.
“The stadium will anchor Eleven Park, providing a home for Indy Eleven that creates new and tailored experiences for Indianapolis fans in a venue designed with the innovation and aspirations of a great global soccer venue,” he continued.
It will make space for 2400 supporters in a steep, safe-standing section on the north end of the stadium.
On the west, the building will offer a wide array of premium choices, from the field club seating on pitch level surrounding the team benches, up through the mid-line club with suites, party suites, and a terrace club above.
On the south, a taproom provides game day club atmosphere for 700 fans with a viewing terrace for nongame day watch parties and events.
On the east, seats will be concentrated on the sideline with the widest concourse and best concessions and restroom ratios in the league.
“The vision of this transformational development into a live, work and play village is becoming reality. Eleven Park will not only change the skyline of Indianapolis, but will add over a thousand jobs, have a huge economic impact, create quality of life benefits and attract talent and opportunities to our city and state,” said Ersal Ozdemir, Chairman and Founder of Keystone Group & Indy Eleven.
“We’ve been investing in downtown for over 20 years and believe it is important now more than ever. Our goal for Eleven Park is to continue the city’s tradition of using sports as a business driver for Indiana by increasing Indianapolis’ profile as a global city and showcasing the world’s most popular sport,” he concluded.
The design wraps the exterior of the stadium in a dynamic, color-changing façade that reflects the forward-looking nature of the redevelopment.
The work is anticipated to be completed in 2025.
All renderings courtesy of Poplulous.