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Study: Louisville needs new stadium to maintain growth of pro soccer

Study calls for 10,000-seat stadium

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 8, 2016) — A study released today by Convention, Sports & Leisure and Legends says that Louisville needs a soccer-specific stadium to maintain and grow professional soccer in the city.

imgresThe 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, United Soccer League (USL) and Major League Soccer (MLS)—the two professional soccer leagues in the U.S.—prefer 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.

Louisville City Football Club (LCFC) currently is part of the USL.

“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.

LCFC’s inaugural 2015 season exceeded expectations, averaging more than 7,000 fans per game, ranking the club second highest for attendance among 24 USL teams and more than double the league average attendance.

In addition to the city study, the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau is conducting a separate study that examines the feasibility of building an amateur youth sports complex, which could house sports such as soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, baseball and soccer, and draw new visitors to Louisville for regional and national tournaments.

The final decision to build a soccer-specific stadium will require much more dialogue and public discussion with partners such as Louisville Metro Council, LCFC and citizens.

Recommendations presented in the study are the first step in the decision-making process and will be used to make an informed decision on whether to pursue the construction of a soccer-specific stadium.

Soccer-specific venues in markets similar to Louisville that were assessed during the study include Toyota Field in San Antonio; Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh; RGVFC Stadium in Edinburg, Texas; Bonney Field in Sacramento; Rhinos Stadium in Rochester, N.Y.; and WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.