Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Indy Eleven stadium renderings

I'm like every other Indy Eleven fan who has been wondering what the proposed stadium would look like and couldn't wait for today's release of the renderings of the proposed stadiums.  To be honest, I'm surprised by the look, but I really like it.

They are all on the Indy Star article, but I thought I would post the renderings again here for completeness, as well as one from the Stadium For Indiana website that was created to educate the public on the stadium:

It looks spectacular.  Urban, hip, and it looks cool.  Definitely different than any of the other stadiums in Indianapolis.  I like the big brick buildings of Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and Victory Field, but I like that the team has tried to give the city a different look.  I'll be interested to see how the urban blogs I read think of it if they weigh in on its look.

I think it is a good idea to show the multi-uses of the facility beyond just the use by the Indy Eleven.  It works for a concerts, football, lacrosse, and others and it's smart to spend nearly as many renderings covering those other uses as it is for the Indy Eleven's use since they want to be able to host 50 events a year and the Eleven will only use 15 - 20 of those.  To think that they can get another 30 events scheduled in a year seems fairly realistic to me as I can foresee it being used for the Big Ten's men's and women's soccer championships, maybe Big Ten field hockey and lacrosse championships, the Indiana High School soccer championships, periodic other high school games (county tourney), NCAA College Cups, and even the periodic National Team games (though that is dependent on the selected turf).  That doesn't include any concerts they are able to pull away from the other venues in town.

The next question on everybody's mind is the funding.  I'm not going to get into that.  The team has said that the renderings were done by the architectural design firm Populous, who do a lot of stadiums including the $53M renovation of the Indiana Farmers Coliseum at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.  So I think they know the market and designed accordingly for the price.  The rest is up to the legislature and whether the general public can be convinced this isn't a general tax and only a user-fee.  I have my doubts they will be convinced, but that's just me being negative and not wanting to get my hopes up too high after seeing the renderings.

After that, the question becomes where will the stadium be located.  Only the team knows for sure, but I think the skyline has a striking resemblance to the skyline that would be present if it was located at the Fall Creek Parkway and 16th Street location that I discussed in my post about potential locations (go to the bottom of the post).  Look at that first rendering above and then look at this one:

If we back out a bit to get a better picture of the land:

What if we superimpose the rendering and imagine it in 3D:

These were my thoughts at that time:

  • Nice open area, currently being used as a city park, so it's already owned by the City.
  • Could incorporate park-like features in design so that park isn't completely lost.
  • Across the street from UPS, so could be a future business partner.  UPS Park?  UPS Stadium?
  • Large open field across Fall Creek on Milburn (owned by Indiana University) that might be able to be used for parking.  Provide a pedestrian bridge over the creek for access and incorporate into the surroundings.
  • The City would like this area to be better utilized.
  • Not far from  Kuntz Stadium, which I already mentioned as having some historical significance.

  • Floodplain.  While they can be overcome, as an engineer, I hate the idea of building in a floodplain.  It wouldn't be the first time that the City has taken a natural receiving stream and put it underground in tunnels (Pogue's Run), but that would definitely require additional engineering and governmental approvals beyond just the City and State.


I would now add that an additional pro of the site is that it is located near I-65 and public transportation routes.  It's still not as close to "downtown" as I had envisioned, but it's not far.  I originally rejected it because of the floodplain concerns, but madman1101 might have looked beyond that and been onto something when he told me to reconsider.  

Friday, January 16, 2015

Eleven Park

One of these days we'll know more about what the Indy Eleven have in mind for the proposed stadium. I thought it would be today, but delayed once again.

A bill has been submitted in the Indiana House of Representatives by District 37's Todd Huston, which you can read here:
HB 1273 and
Latest Fiscal Notes on it

So I was thinking again.  Given my ever increasing negative view about whether the proposed stadium gets approved, I thought I would look at something else about it.  Quite a few people have stated, and reiterated, that they think that Carroll Stadium should be rehabbed, or if that is not feasible, then demolished completely and a new stadium constructed in its location.  I've had issues with that, among them being where to play while the construction work is happening.  Suggestions included the Butler Bowl, Carmel High School, and Ben Davis High School.  However, only Ben Davis comes close to having enough capacity for the Indy Eleven, as BD Stadium seats 9,000 people (5,500 on the home side & 3,500 on the visitors side).  As a BD alum, I like the idea of having the team play at my high school, especially given that there could be an opportunity to have an event with Lauren Holiday (nee Cheney) depending on her schedule with FC Kansas City and the US Women's National Team.  I just don't see the team wanting to spend even more money to get a second stadium ready to temporarily accommodate the additional people for the games.  Paying twice to do the same thing just doesn't make good business sense. Running water and showers for the team would be nice and readily available, but it's also located out in the suburbs when the team has repeatedly said they prefer to be in downtown Indy.

So I give you Eleven Park at Victory Field:

  • Downtown.  
  • Running water.
  • Concession stands.
  • Merchandise stands.
  • Can seat up to 14,230 when utilizing the lawn, which would be a good way to watch the game. If NYCFC can use Yankee Stadium temporarily, then why can't the Eleven use Victory Field temporarily?
  • Scheduling might become an issue, but surely something could be evaluated.  An afternoon Indians/night Eleven doubleheader a couple times for some cross promotion if necessary.

Again, I'm just a fan who seems to have this stadium on my mind a lot, especially since I don't think Peter and Ersal can convince the public to help finance $87M no matter how it is spun.  I've seen too many comments from fans who actually want the stadium who don't want to pay for it.  I think if Ersal agrees to privately finance even half of it, this is a completely different conversation.  Peter was on WNDE last night and either Query or Schultz (I can't recall who said it) said, "through no fault of the Eleven" people are going to look at a very large, very expensive Lucas Oil Stadium and ask why the city needs another stadium.  When the argument that 20,000 people wouldn't fill a third of the stadium and some scheduling conflicts is the best response to that, it's hard to argue against their logic.  I think professional teams need facilities that specialize to their sport, but Indy has had a history of pro soccer teams that didn't make it and could barely fill Kuntz.  I understand the naysayers' arguments and am having a harder time disagreeing with them depending on my mood.

Supposedly, renderings and fly-through animations will be available next week (delayed from this week).  Maybe that will switch my mood again.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Indy Eleven Stadium - Part 2

I considered adding this as an update to the previous post, but decided that it was getting a little long.  So I'll reference it here for those who haven't seen it yet.  If you haven't seen it yet, you might want to start there and come back after you've read it since it gives a lot of my thoughts on the issue of the stadium, which I'll not include here.  Go ahead, we can wait.

*whistles and shuffles feet*

Back?  Good, glad you weren't scared away with that novella.  I know, it was a bit long.  Sorry about that.  So moving forward with my most recent idea.  I'm thinking way out of the box on this one. You ready?

Carroll Stadium!

Kind of...

I was so caught up in looking for open, or what I considered unused, areas and my issues with the constructability of building a new stadium in the same location as the existing stadium that I didn't give the area as much consideration as it deserved.  Until recently when I was traveling through another portion of IUPUI's campus and saw two garages and a parking lot next to each other.  Guess what is around Carroll Stadium?  A parking garage and three parking lots (sidenote: why do I feel like I can never find a parking spot on IUPUI's campus when they have this many lots...), which are currently being used for game day parking.  What if the stadium was constructed there?

It's a bit snug to put Chicago Fire's Toyota Park in that space, but I'm just using that as a conceptual basis anyway.  If you trim off the stadium on the north and south ends and put additional seats on the east and west sides (similar to Estadio Municipal de Braga as I mentioned in Part 1), then I think it fits in the land between Vermont Street and New York Street, west of Barnhill Drive.  The downside to this location is that a roughly 1,000 space parking lot is displaced (currently being used as Lot B for the Eleven games), Beauty Street is removed, and part of what is being used as Lot A is eliminated.

Obviously, that's a lot of spots removed from IUPUI's campus. However, what if the rest of Lot A was converted into a new parking garage and wrapped into the cost of the stadium?  I found a reputable source online which tells me that a general cost of a parking garage of that size in Indianapolis would be approximately $16,000/space.  So I just added $16M to the cost of the stadium.  Perhaps IUPUI would be willing to share that cost or work out a deal with them so that they receive a portion of the fees received from the use of the garage.


  • Appears to be able to fit in the space and revised to a preferred North-South alignment.
  • The team can still play at Carroll Stadium while the new one is being built.
  • It's in a location that people have grown to appreciate due to its proximity to downtown.
  • Maintains a relationship with IUPUI, who also get to keep a renovated track stadium.  Take down the temporary bleachers but keep the suites?
  • Removes a large amount of parking spaces for IUPUI's students/faculty until the new garage is built. Also affects the team's parking for game days.
  • Potentially increases the overall cost of the stadium because of the cost of the new garage.
FINAL ASSESSMENT - A lot more potential than I original saw.

Through all of my research and evaluation, I think that the Beauty Avenue site has as much potential as the Sand Street alternative and the 16th and Fall Creek alternatives, which are the two that I decided had the most promise from my Part 1 alternatives.  Though these are just my thoughts as a fan with not nearly as much time on my hands as these two posts would make you believe so hopefully some information will start to be released as the team looks to start talking with the State Legislature again.