Louisville City FC is moving into its own soccer-specific stadium for the 2020 season, and the club started the seat-selection process Monday morning with longtime fan, JC Cissell.
Cissell and his family had first priority for picking seats in the new stadium due to his status as the club's first Season Ticket Member.
"We were among the early adopters, working with the Coopers early on in the process of bringing a team here so when the opportunity came we wanted to make sure we were at the front of the line," Cissell said.
Cissell was among the group that started a soccer supporter's group in Louisville before the city even had a team.
"There were four of us, Taylor Sorrels, Martin French, John McCulloch and myself, who sat down originally to think about what we could do to make soccer in Louisville a reality," Cissell said. "We couldn't line up owners or sponsors, but four of us became five and then six and then more joined in. Building the fan base was our contribution to making the team happen."
The Coopers Supporters Group caught the attention of Wayne Estopinal and some of the earliest investors in professional soccer in Louisville. That group grew quickly into hundreds of local soccer fans.
Cissell, who worked with the club early on, views the new stadium as a key piece for the future of professional soccer in our city.
"For me, having a son who loves this team, and knowing that the stadium is our club's future - it locks our team down and he won't be in any danger of losing our team when he's 7 or 8 - means a lot to me," Cissell said. "Knowing that he'll grow up with Louisville City is exciting for my wife and I."
Soccer runs in Cissell's family. His mother, Nancy, was on the first adult women's soccer team in Louisville history.
"It was 1977 and JC was two years old," Nancy Cissell said. "There was an adult men's league that had formed, but there wasn't anything for women yet. They got the team together and we started practicing at Seneca Park."
Nancy, is carrying on the soccer tradition, playing soccer in the backyard with JC and Ashley's son, Truman. The Cissell family left the seat-picking to JC.
"Oh, yeah, he spent hours looking at which seats would be the best," Nancy Cissell said. "He would send us seats on the link where you can see the seats, and we would look. And then I told him, whatever you think because I know it is going to be right."
Cissell surveyed the stadium through the "See Your Seat" technology on Louisville City's web site, and picked seats on the press box side of the field.
"I wanted to make sure we were up high enough to have a good view of the field," Cissell said. "I spent a lot of time looking at different angles and views."
Louisville City FC President Brad Estes, who took the Cissell family on a tour of the stadium construction site over the weekend, said the seat selection process is the realization of a dream for many associated with the club.
"To me, these guys represent our entire fan base, and to be able to bring them out to show them the stadium site was just awesome," Estes said. "Everything we have been working toward as a club has brought us to this point. It is amazing that we have been able to pull this off in just five years and that is really a testament to fans like the Cissells, the ownership group and, of course, the players, coaches and front office."
Seat selection for Season Ticket Members began Monday morning and will continue through the next four weeks. Seats are available in the new stadium starting at just $16 per game.
Once Season Ticket Members select their seats, fans who have placed $50 deposits will get their chance to select seats before the remaining tickets will be available to the general public on Sept. 9 (9-9-19).