January 24, 2019
Originally published in Inside Indiana Business
By Alex Brown, Assistant Managing Editor
Indy Eleven Professional Soccer has announced an expansion of its ownership structure. The team has moved from one sole owner to a group of business and civic leaders from throughout the state. The new owners will acquire shares in the franchise and work to expand the profile of the Indy Eleven statewide.
Ersal Ozdemir, owner and chairman of Indy Eleven, tells Inside INdiana Business, said he wanted to make sure that, being “Indiana’s team,” the franchise had an ownership group that represents the entire state. “We have owners from Fort Wayne all the way to Evansville and this will also help us to diversify to make sure that Indiana’s team is permanent and helps us to get to the next level.”
The new members of the ownership group include:
- Brian Bauer, president of Indiana University Health Fort Wayne
- Don Gottwald, chief operating officer and chief strategy officer of Carmel-based KAR Auction Services Inc. (NYSE: KAR)
- Shane Hageman, president, Hageman Group in Carmel
- Jeffrey Laborsky, president and chief executive officer of Heritage Environmental Services in Indianapolis
- Fred Merritt, president of LFM Investments Inc.
- Quinn Ricker, president and CEO of Ricker Oil Co. in Anderson
- Chris Traylor, co-president of Traylor Bros. Inc. and representative of Traylor Family Capital in Evansville
The announcement comes just weeks after the team unveiled plans for the $550 million Eleven Park project, which includes a new 20,000-seat stadium. Ozdemir says the new owners will have the opportunity to invest in the development as well.
“These are great business and civic leaders around the state, employing thousands of jobs,” said Ozdemir. “They all live here and work here, so they are committed to making sure that this helps Indiana to be a quality of place, helps us to stay competitive and helps us to become a world team. We hope to bring the world to Indiana as well as taking Indiana to the world.”
Ozdemir and newly-appointed Indy Eleven Chief Executive Officer Greg Stremlaw will appear this weekend on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick to talk about the new ownership structure and the plans for Eleven Park.