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New co-owner Chuck Surack is hopeful Indy Eleven stadium ‘will still get done’

UnPHILtered: One-on-one with Indy Eleven’s new co-owner Chuck Surack

(WISH) — The Indy Eleven soccer teams announced they’re adding huge money muscle.

The move came after Indianapolis Democratic Mayor Joe Hogsett said April 25 that the city was looking to pursue a Major League Soccer team.

In an April 29 “UnPHILtered” segment, Ersal Ozdemir, founder and owner of Keystone Group and Indy Eleven, said he was surprised by the mayor’s announcement, which led to questions about the future of the United Soccer League men’s and women’s teams. They play at Indiana University’s Carroll Track & Soccer Stadium in downtown Indianapolis.

The mayor later said the city was pulling out its deal with the Indy Eleven to build a new stadium.

Indy Eleven and its Eleven Park Investment Group on Wednesday said Fort Wayne entrepreneur Chuck Surack joined as a co-owner of the team and an investor in the private development surrounding the planned Major League Soccer-eligible stadium.

During Wednesday night’s “UnPHILtered” interview, Surack said he was hopeful the stadium and the development surrounding it will still get done. “I’ve been a big supporter of the whole state of Indiana for a long time, and I’ve had tickets to the Colts. I’ve come to Pacers games; regularly come to concerts. And, frankly, I want to support soccer in Indianapolis, and I love what Ersal (Ozdemir) and his team is doing and so I’m just excited to be there helping.”

“Well, he (Ozdemir) already had a commitment from the mayor and from the governor, and, you know, all the political bodies and the grounds already been cleared. It’s ready to go. Where the city is talking about (building an MLS stadium), there’s already a heliport and its parking lot. I mean, it would take quite a bit. They don’t even own the land. Not sure who the investment people they have involved behind them. So, I think they have a big hurdle to get over frankly.

“I’d like to believe it (Eleven Park) would happen, yes, but we need the city support. This should not be a fight. This should be, ‘Let’s do what’s right for the city and for the state of Indiana,’ and it was already it was already set up to be a soccer stadium that could support the Indy Eleven and eventually maybe support an MLS team. So, it’s ready to go.” 

Surack founded and led the Fort Wayne-based company Sweetwater Sound, a megastore featuring high-quality musical instruments and studio recording gear, for more than three decades. He sold part of his company to private equity in 2021 and continues to serve as chairman.