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Stadium Project

PUBLISHED JULY 20: Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer arrived to the stage Thursday to chants of “build the stadium!” He banged on a drum with Louisville City FC’s supporters, the Coopers. Then he delivered a message that hundreds assembled at the Copper & Kings brandy distillery took to kindly.

“It’s going to take the state. It’s going to take the city. It’s going to take a big commitment from the owners as well,” Fischer said at the Paint Butchertown Purple stadium rally. “But all the pieces are falling into place.”

Three months after LouCity announced its future stadium site, the project took another step forward Thursday as the Coopers and Butchertown Neighborhood Association teamed for a supporter-led rally at Copper & Kings.

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PUBLISHED JUNE 26: Metro Council approved a city budget that earmarked $250,000 for a survey and environmental study at the Butchertown stadium site, Insider Louisville reported.

“There’s some really positive momentum surrounding Louisville City FC right now,” team spokesman Jonathan Lintner told IL.

The news came amid a sharp increase in attendance to open the 2017 season, with more than 8,000 per home game recorded so far.

In a follow-up story from WDRB, Metro Council representative Barbara Sexton Smith, whose district includes Butchertown, said the stadium would be an “economic boon for our community." Sexton Smith added that her office has received much feedback from the community supporting the project.

PUBLISHED APRIL 12: A study conducted last year by the City of Louisville determined a soccer-specific stadium is needed to maintain and grow the game here. Now, after months of work with various property owners, Louisville City FC is a step closer to making that a reality.

Tracts of land are under option in the Butchertown Neighborhood, where the club plans to transform 40 acres into a 10,000-seat, soccer-specific stadium and adjacent development including space for offices, hotels and retail.

Through public-private partnership, LouCity intends to continue the revitalization of downtown Louisville and surrounding areas in space occupied by the former Challenger Lifts headquarters, an above-ground oil tank facility, a storage space and auto salvage lot.

A 10,000-seat soccer-specific stadium would open in 2020 on a site that is, as with the club, a winner. It’s situated next to Interstates 64 and 71, blocks from Main Street; a close walk from the Big Four Bridge; and within view of the downtown Louisville skyline.

LouCity is working with city government, Metro Council members and state economic development officials to make the project a reality. Construction of a stadium and nearby development, including office and retail space, would create jobs, drive tax revenues and spur economic growth beyond soccer.

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PUBLISHED JAN. 26: Louisville City FC has entered into partnership with global architecture firm HOK for design of a soccer-specific stadium and adjacent development projects, a key step in the club’s pursuit of a long-term home.

HOK will provide the vision for a 10,000-seat stadium that could later expand in capacity to 20,000. The overall site plan will also include space for office and retail development.

“We’re getting closer to securing a lot in urban Louisville, and now we’re thinking about what we can build on it,” said LouCity Chairman John Neace. “HOK’s work ensures that once a location is determined, community members will have a tangible picture of Louisville City FC’s future.”

HOK has worked since 2015 with the LouCity’s United Soccer League, helping position each of its clubs in soccer-specific stadiums by 2020. The firm’s soccer portfolio boasts Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home to MLS’ Atlanta United, the San Jose Earthquakes’ Avaya Stadium and a number of USL ventures.

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PUBLISHED AUG. 4: A study conducted by Convention, Sports & Leisure and Legends and released by Louisville Forward confirms that a soccer-specific stadium is needed to maintain and grow professional soccer in Louisville.

“While Louisville Slugger Field has been a good first home for professional soccer, we must remain competitive, and sharing fields is not sustainable,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Louisville City Football Club is off to a great start, and we must embrace the growing demand for soccer in our city and strategically prepare for long-term growth.”

The Mayor added that, “Having vibrant arts, sports, entertainment and recreational activities is a core strategy for any competitive city,” but noted that, “we can only consider building a stadium if a significant portion of funding is committed by the private sector.”

The study calls for a soccer-specific stadium, with the ability to hold up to 10,000 seats, to be built by the year 2020. While no exact locations are named in the study, the United Soccer League prefers locating stadiums in or around downtown urban core areas to enhance the market potential for professional soccer in terms of audience and growing fan base. 

The site selection portion of the study is omitted for the obvious reason that the publication of that information likely would lead to land speculation that could ultimately cost the City (and the taxpayers) more money. 

“The Louisville City ownership and entire organization appreciate Mayor Fischer’s and Metro Government’s support to conduct this study,” said team president Amanda Duffy. “We are thrilled this study confirms the support, steps and feasibility for a soccer-specific stadium in Louisville.  The success Louisville City has experienced on and off the field has been resounding, and we look forward to working closely with members of Metro Council and other civic leaders to take the next steps as recommended by this study.”

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