Mayor says financing remains a concern
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 12, 2017) — The Louisville City FC ownership group announced today that it has selected five tracts of land in Butchertown for its mixed-used development and 10,000-seat soccer stadium. The city worked with the ownership group to secure options that would give Louisville Metro Government the right to buy the land in the future.
Mayor Greg Fischer said the proposal to redevelop 40 acres in Butchertown into a vibrant addition holds enormous potential and promise. But he also urged caution, noting that there are many steps involved in making the project a reality, including establishing how the project will be financed and what role the city will play.
“Louisville City FC has had a great first two seasons, and we have been hard at work with them on trying to make a pro soccer stadium feasible,” Fischer said. “As part of our current negotiations, a development district transforming some blighted downtown property presents great leverage for job growth and exciting development in our city.”
Fischer said significant conversations must first occur with the public and Metro Council about the city’s possible contribution. Fischer said the Louisville City FC ownership group must, for example, commit significant private dollars to the private-public project before the city would commit taxpayer dollars.
“The future of this project depends on Louisville City FC gathering the necessary significant private capital and appropriate state assistance to make this project a reality,” Fischer said. “When those conditions are met, we will work with Metro Council to move the project forward.”
Metro Council President David Yates said the council is prepared to begin talks about the city’s role.
“This is an exciting proposal and Metro Council looks forward to further discussions with Louisville City FC about a potential public-private partnership,” he said.
Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, Chief of Louisville Forward, said the project has transformational potential because of its scope.
“This is an incredible opportunity to turn disinvested, industrial land immediately adjacent to downtown, at a highly visible entrance point to the city, into as much as $200 million of new investment,” she said. “The edges of downtown are experiencing amazing activity – with $35 million for Waterfront Park Phase IV and more than $200 million investment in Russell transformation to the west, higher education investments just south of the central business district, and neighborhood revitalization from the eastern edges to the river.”