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Carroll Stadium

Indianapolis, IN

Home of the Indy Eleven

4.1

N/A

Carroll Stadium (map it)
1001 W New York St
Indianapolis, IN 46202


Indy Eleven website

Carroll Stadium website

Year Opened: 1982

Capacity: 12,100

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Rally Around the Indy Eleven

Professional soccer returned to the city of Indianapolis for the first time in a decade in 2014. If the first season is a barometer of success, the city may be home to soccer for the foreseeable future. The Indy Eleven have sold out their first eleven games to start their inaugural campaign at Michael A. Carroll Track & Soccer Stadium on the campus of IUPUI in downtown Indianapolis.

The 12,100-seat stadium opened in 1982 and serves as the home to the university’s soccer and track & field programs. There were $1 million in improvements made to the stadium prior to team’s first season in 2014 in the North American Soccer League (NASL). There were renovations to the bathrooms, additional concession stands, and the inclusion of 11 private suites.

If there were any doubts about the popularity of soccer, it has been silenced quickly and completely by the Indy Eleven. The game day experience is above many other franchises in the league, making it one of the hottest tickets in a sports-savvy town.

4.1

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    3

There are various small concession areas throughout the stadium with a majority of them behind the west stands. The choices are limited and include hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, bratwursts, pork sandwich, and sloppy Janes, which are a vegan option. The nachos are a bargain for only $4, but the hot dogs and hamburgers are a tad bit high for $5 and $6 respectively.The beer selection includes two local craft beer favorites Flat 12 Bierworks and People's Brewery Company, plus regional beers Coors Light, Miller Light, Heineken and Modelo Especial.

A great place to entertain the children and other members of the family would be at the Honda Fun Zone near the stadium's main entrance. Here, there are blow up goals, mini soccer pitches, paint ball shooting ranges and other carnival like amusements. For the older fans, the parking lots open at 4:30 pm for tailgating with friends and fellow soccer fans.

The menu is certainly lacking that one-of-a-kind option or the ubiquitous inexpensive hot dog. To be honest, I am not sure what makes the perfect soccer cuisine (meat pies anyone?), but if the Eleven can add a couple of unusual menu options, it will make this reporter want to try the concessions again in the future.

Atmosphere    5

The game day experience at Carroll Stadium is unmatched by many other franchises in the NASL. The stadium itself is rather trite and features a track surrounding the soccer pitch, but the supporters and game day atmosphere give it a much needed injection of passion that is remarkable for professional soccer in Indianapolis.

The fun starts when you park the car and pass by many supporters decked out in Indy Eleven gear tailgating or kicking a soccer ball. Once inside the main entrance, there is an array of tents from local merchants and business owners from the surrounding area. There is also plenty of team signage throughout the concourse that makes a mark with the common fan.

The team's official mascot is a dog named Zeke who is dressed in Civil War regalia. The colorful mascot is adored by fans young and old. You may even spot a band playing music before an evening match and even more supporters hoisting up Indy Eleven scarves as they make their way to their seats.

The team features 11 suites on the north end of the field, but the majority of the seating configurations are on the opposite side of the pitch. This area is broken up into two sections and the higher level seating gives you a majestic view of the field and the surrounding city landscape. The fans are packed throughout the majority of the stadium and if you are not a fan of the sport, there will be someone near you to tell you how great it is to be at the game.

Neighborhood    4

Carroll Stadium is only a few short blocks from the downtown center of town, but you will need to get there by car or taxi. I would suggest spending time after the game in the Mass Ave. section of Indianapolis where many of the fans gather for a nightcap. The Chatham Tap Restaurant & Pub is an official meeting place for the team and features great food and soccer atmosphere.

Pizzology features homemade meats, pastas and pizzas in a setting with beautiful ambiance. Union 50 is an upscale bar and restaurant that includes live music in an old converted building. If you want a more laid back and unpretentious atmosphere, visit the Mass Ave Pub for inexpensive beer prices and crispy and chewy homemade potato chips.

Fans    5

The Indy Eleven has attracted more than 10,000 people for each game in its inaugural season and have doubled the attendance figures of at least five other franchises in the NASL. The organization has tapped into a strong soccer market here in the city; the niche market is large enough to get behind the second division club.

According to General Manager Peter Wilt in a recent Indianapolis Business Journal article, "You can tell the fans coming to our [Eleven] games are into the game. They're paying attention. They're not just there for a social outing."

Perhaps, the stadium's most dedicated and faithful group of supporters are behind the west side of the field. This is where you will find the Brickyard Battalion who are the official supporters group of the Indy Eleven. The BYB's mission is to create an inspiring fan environment and support for the soccer club. If you happen to sit in this area of the stadium, your objective is to stand, chant, sing and follow along with a chorus of songs that include "Indy Till I Die," "The Boys are on Tonight," "Indy is Red and Blue," and "Back Home Again in Indiana." Their loyal following has resulted in local Flat 12 Bierworks to create BYB Full 90 Pale Ale.

Access    3

Getting to the stadium is relatively easy from both I-65 and I-70. The venue is located on the campus of IUPUI and there are plenty of parking lots that will cost you $10, a modest price for a professional soccer game. Leaving the game may be a little congested, but there are plenty of police officers on hand to guide you back to your destination.

Return on Investment    5

The ticket prices are affordable and make it easy on your wallet. The prices begin at $10 and range up to $30. Tickets have been known to sell out quickly and it is wise to buy in advance. The ticket prices have been a drawing card for its large attendance figures during the 2014 season. The price points of $10 and $15 are more than affordable for a night out with a few thousand friends.

Extras    4

One extra point for the level of support that this organization has achieved. It really is one of the most special stories in sports expansion.

The city of Indianapolis is one of, if not THE best sports city in the United States. The Indy Eleven success is just one more indication.

Another extra point to the fantastic fans of this club.

Finally an extra point for what is ahead for the Indy Eleven. Eventually they'll get a soccer specific stadium, and certainly there are aspirations to be an MLS club. For now, enjoy Carroll Stadium, and the NASL.

Final Thoughts

The level of support for the Indy Eleven has been outstanding and unprecedented. Only ten years ago, the city's former soccer franchise the Indiana Blast would have been grateful to attract 300 people to its home games. The Eleven have made quite an impact on the city's sports landscape. The true legacy of that impact will be felt in the upcoming years as ownership looks for its own soccer specific stadium.

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Local Food & Drink

Chatham Tap Restaurant & Pub  (map it!)

719 Massachusetts Ave

Indianapolis, IN 46204

(317) 917-8425

http://chathamtap.com/

Pizzology Craft Pizza & Pub  (map it!)

608 Mass Ave

Indianapolis, IN 46204

(317) 685-2550

http://www.pizzologyindy.com/

Mass Ave Pub  (map it!)

745 Massachusetts Ave

Indianapolis, IN 46204

(317) 974-0745

http://www.massavepub.com/

Union 50  (map it!)

620 N East St

Indianapolis, IN 46202

(317) 610-0234

http://www.union-50.com/

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