The site for the location of a new soccer stadium in Indianapolis has hit an unexpected twist. According to construction company Keystone Group, workers for the venue unearthed 87 instances of human remains spread over the six-acre site where the stadium is meant to go. The stadium will be the new home of USL Championship side Indy Eleven, but this adds to the drama regarding the future of Major League Soccer in the Midwest.

The Diamond Chain site will be the new $1.5 billion home of the Indy Eleven. However, the Mayor of Indianapolis revealed his intent to draw an MLS team to Indianapolis instead by building a soccer stadium on a different site. Mayor Joe Hogsett went so far as to say there will be only one soccer-specific stadium in Indianapolis. In other words, he will work to ensure the project for Indy Eleven falls through.

Discovering the burial sites on the location for the USL side’s future stadium has presented him with an opportunity. Riding the support of historians and preservationists, Hogsett and the City of Indianapolis offered to buy the land off of Keystone Group, the company working to develop the stadium. This fulfills his wish of developing a stadium at a different location. At the same time, it damages the intent to develop a USL Championship side’s future in the area.

Future of Indianapolis soccer stadium keeps battle alive

Hogsett cited the enormous cost of the $1.5 billion project that Keystone put forward. Keystone Group hoped to have a combination of a privately and publicly funded stadium, but the city was only willing to put forth around $250 million. Blocking the funding of the arena was, per Hogsett, a way to benefit the taxpayer.

“We were willing to put $250 million into a new stadium, but, for reasons that only Keystone could explain, they came back and asked for additional incentives. At some point, the taxpayers have to be protected, and that’s what I decided to do.”

Keystone Group did not have the full backing of Hogsett and the Indianapolis City Government. Yet, it continues with the construction of Eleven Park. The group maintained that it would not have any financial impact on the citizens of Indianapolis due to increased investor support. However, the prospect of a Major League Soccer franchise interested Hogsett more than the USL.

Reports indicate Hogsett wants a stadium on the east side of Indianapolis. Keystone Group’s location is just outside downtown Indianapolis to the west. The City of Indianapolis wants to purchase the Diamond Chain Co. land for fair market value. After that, it will be on the path to constructing its venue in a different spot.

No signs of stopping at Eleven Park

For now, though, Keystone is moving forward with the development of Eleven Park. Construction has already been going on for over a year.

“As we move forward with this transformational riverfront development it has always been our steadfast commitment to correct past mishandlings by previous ownership, with dignified and respectful reinterment and memorialization,” said Jennifer Pavlik, Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President, Keystone Group.

For now, the focus is on dealing with the human remains. They date back to the 1800s. Therefore, historians will be working to discover more information about them. That puts a stall on the development of Eleven Park. Consequently, Hogsett has more time to work on ending the Keystone Group’s project. He can also try to advance with his own publicly owned stadium.

PHOTOS: Keystone Group