INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The moment thousands of Hoosier soccer fans have been waiting for has finally arrived. The Indy Eleven took to the field for opening night of their inaugural season Saturday night.
The game sold out. A franchise a little more than a year in the making culminated on a picturesque night with nearly 11,000 people on hand to enjoy it.
- Photos | View pictures from the game
They’re done waiting.
“It’s finally here,” smiled Peter Evans, vocal leader of the rabid fans known as the “Brickyard Battalion.”
They’re done warming up.
“Tonight we raise our voice,” he proclaimed.
Tonight is the night.
“It’s going to be raucous,” said Peter Wilt, Indy Eleven President/General Manager, with excitement in his voice.
You could hear it, you could feel it, you could even almost taste it.
“Hotdogs, hamburgers, nachos,” said fan Noah Spangler, as he listed all the food he hoped to eat Saturday night.
Months of anticipation, now down to a few minutes ticking away.
“It’s like Christmas morning,” said Wilt. “We’ve been working for 15 months getting the present ready for Indiana and today they get to open it up and see what it’s all about.”
Fans young and old, calm and crazy, all here to share the same moment.
“We’re dressed and ready to go,” said Emily Adams of Greenwood, as she pointed to her family decked out in Indy Eleven gear.
“I’m on pins and needles waiting not only to see how the team plays but how the crowd reacts,” Wilt said anxiously.
That wait is finally over.
A stadium that once only fit 6,000 is now busting at the seams around 11,000. Stands that seat 2,000 people were added behind each goal, as well as a set of suites along the north side of the field. And with 7,000 season ticket holders in the bag, Wilt says even more seats might be needed.
“It’s a good problem to have. I’d rather have that one than the opposite,” Wilt said with a smile. “They love their Indy Eleven, they want to see us compete for a championship and it starts.
MyINDY-TV 23 will air all of Indy Eleven’s home games live.
Mayor Greg Ballard was at the Eleven’s inaugural game on Saturday. He sent out the following tweet after the 1-1 tie:
— Mayor Greg Ballard (@MayorBallard) April 13, 2014
- Link | Indy Eleven game schedule