The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

November 10, 2012

Rick Teverbaugh: Are you ready for some soccer?

Apparently, yet again, attempts are being made to bring pro soccer to Indianapolis.

IndyProSoccer is attempting to round up interest in putting a team in the North American Soccer League for the 2014 season.

The group has established a website at: www.indyprosoccer.com.

The group, which is primarily made up of Indianapolis businessmen, is looking for input from people in the state with a stake in the sport. Obviously, at this point, there are more questions than answers.

One of the primary issues is where would the team play. Long-term, if the team was successful at drawing people in and establishing a solid base, a new facility might be erected. But right now there appears to be no existing facility that would really serve the sport well.

Many possible venues have drawbacks whether it would be location, nearness of the stands to the field, parking and several other issues.

Ticket prices in the NASL range from about $10 to $28 apiece with season tickets ranging from around $100 to nearly $400.

On the website it is possible to suggest a name for the team as well as the colors for it.

The group, attempting to get off to the best start possible, has hired Peter Wilt to manage the effort. Wilt is best known for being the first president and general manager of the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer.

“There is an evolution going on in soccer,” said Wilt in a Thursday telephone conversation, just 24 hours after the website launched. “The environment has improved now for bringing pro soccer to Indianapolis.”

The state has a history of nearly a dozen previous pro soccer teams, but few lasted even as long as a decade.

“If this one is done poorly and by that I mean if it is treated as minor league, then it probably will fail.”

He has one idea that certainly could enrich the chances fopr this to succeed.

“One of the things we need to do is to take the large number of participants and convert them into spectators,” said Wilt. “We can get them to one game by offering package deals and bring a whole team in. But can we get them to come back.”

He is hoping that some of the work can be done by the soccer community.

“We want to convert the community into evangelists,” said Wilt. “We can reach more people that way.”

Wilt points to Seattle where the Sounders of the MSL average around 44,000 per contest as evidence that it can be done. He also acknowledges that in that same league the next highest attendence is only a little more than half of that.

Wilt seeks to give Indy fans a sense of ownership.

“The Green Bay Packers have the bense sense of Tribalism in sports,” said Wilt. Of course in that case, many of the fans actually do have stock in the team. There’s no indication the Indianapolis team would go in that direction.

It will be interesting to watch this develop.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Elwood, Liberty Christian advance in county softball tournament The 2014 Madison County Softball tournament got off to a wild start at Liberty Christian on Wednesday night as Elwood and the host Liberty Christian Lions advanced with victories.

    April 17, 2014

  • SPT - HB0417 - Nick Muller - 05 Bulldogs, Indians impress in openers Lapel and Anderson have very different histories in the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament.

    April 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • SPT - HB0417 - Pendleton v Mad Grant 2 Eagles, Arabians move to second round Frankton got off to an uneven start, falling behind 4-3 and 6-4, but rallied for a 14-6 triumph over Alexandria in the first round of the Madison County Softball Tournament here Wednesday. In the second contest, Pendleton Heights topped Madison-Grant 2-1 in a game where both runs and hits were at a premium.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Rick Bramwell: Improving weather should aid morels When I looked at my wilted daffodils Tuesday morning, I knew this would be a setback for morels. The long-range forecast through April 29 calls for near normal temperatures and above normal precipitation. This is good news for the blacks and grays.

    April 16, 2014

  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: Hunter-Reay's blunder proves costly A lack of patience cost Ryan Hunter-Reay and teammate James Hinchcliffe a chance at victory last weekend in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Long Beach.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0416 - tennis file - 14 Many girls tennis teams return top talent With spring sports getting off to a good start thanks to some spring-like weather last week, local girls tennis teams are taking to the court.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wild week will get later start The busiest week on Madison County's high school sports calendar is going to start a day later than expected.

    April 14, 2014

  • Familiar trio leads boys track teams Much like in years past, Anderson, Lapel and Pendleton Heights have assembled the largest number of track athletes of the area’s 11 high schools. And, while the remaining teams may struggle to compete from a team standpoint, they will send capable athletes to the line to challenge in individual events.

    April 14, 2014

  • New roles, same goals for Arabians

    Perhaps the most remarkable fact about the first 13 years of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament is that no team has repeated as champion.

    April 14, 2014

  • Track stars prepare for numbers game

    Track is a numbers game, not just with times and distances, but with roster sizes as well. Smaller schools often abandon the philosophy of competing for team titles when running against larger schools with nearly double the number of athletes. Instea

    April 14, 2014