Courtesy of Indy Eleven
Indy Eleven Professional Soccer today announced it would expand its ownership structure from current sole owner; Ersal Ozdemir, to include business and civic leaders from across Indiana. New investors will acquire shares in the Indianapolis-based United Soccer League Championship franchise. The additional owners will expand the team’s statewide profile.
“To us, ‘World’s Game, Indiana’s Team’ is more than a motto, it is our mission,” said Ersal Ozdemir, owner and chairman of Indy Eleven. “By welcoming this successful group of business and civic leaders from across our great state to our team, we send a strong signal that Indy Eleven is a true Indiana success story that is poised for the next level.”
The ownership group additions include:
- Brian Bauer, President, IU Health Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, Ind.
- Don Gottwald, CEO and Chief Strategy Officer, KAR Auction Services, Inc., Carmel, Ind.
- Shane Hageman, President, Hageman Group, Carmel, Ind., Indianapolis, Ind., Remington, Ind.
- Jeffrey A. Laborsky, President and CEO, Heritage Environmental Services, Indianapolis, Ind.
- Fred Merritt, President, LFM Investments, Inc., Fort Wayne, Ind., Carmel, Ind.
- Quinn Ricker, President and CEO, Ricker Oil Company, Anderson, Ind.
- Chris Traylor, Co-President, Traylor Bros., Inc & Representative of Traylor Family Capital, Evansville, Ind.
The ownership group announcement closely follows the appointment of top sports executive Greg Stremlaw as the team’s chief executive officer and the unveiling of Eleven Park, a transformative neighborhood development proposed to include office space, apartments, retail, a boutique hotel and public areas – all anchored by a 20,000 seat multi-purpose soccer stadium, of which Indy Eleven will be the primary tenant.
Indy Eleven emphasized the value that the new investors will bring to the club.
“Thanks to our dedicated fans, Indy Eleven grew out of its first facility and has set attendance records since moving to our current home at Lucas Oil Stadium,” said Stremlaw. “With these new investors, we will continue to strive toward offering a best-in-class experience for our fans, both in the stands and on the field. We are lucky to have such distinguished business and civic leaders joining our team.”
For one new member of the ownership group, the future is bright.
“I am excited to join the Indy Eleven family,” said Merritt. “Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and I am extremely proud to be able to be part of the team that will secure the future of soccer in Indiana for generations to come.”
“I look forward to being a part of Indy Eleven and seeing the Eleven Park project grow,” said Laborsky. “It’s a project that will not only help cement soccer in the state of Indiana, but also create employment opportunities and improve quality of place in Indianapolis for families and businesses alike.”
Those individuals and organizations being added to the ownership group are being given the opportunity to invest in the proposed Eleven Park development alongside Keystone Group, an Indianapolis-based real estate development, construction and investment company. Additional investors are expected to be announced in the coming months.
The first match of Indy Eleven’s 2019 USL Championship season is scheduled for March 9 with the home opener scheduled for March 30 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Tickets are available by visiting IndyEleven.com.