Louisville City’s push towards a soccer-specific stadium and, ultimately, Major League Soccer received a major boost on Wednesday.
Along with the city of Louisville, the club announced on Wednesday that a study will be conducted regarding the feasibility of constructing a new soccer-specific stadium in one of four areas of the city, including downtown Louisville. The $75,000 study is being conducted by Conventions, Sports & Leisure International, who count Liverpool, Barcelona and four MLS teams among their previous clients.
“This is huge,” club president Amanda Duffy told SBI. “For us, short-term and long-term, a soccer-specific stadium that Louisville City can call home is a necessary part of our business, our growth and our future, as a USL team, and we have higher aspirations for the next four or five years, and as a soccer organization.
“This stadium piece is a critical piece for us to be in position right now. After just one year of operation, for the city to get behind us and show its support by bringing in a consultant to do this work and begin the process for us of identifying a site and how we can bring a soccer-specific stadium to Louisville, it’s great. It speaks volumes about the success we had in year one and encourages us as we enter season two right now.”
In addition to the pursuit of a soccer-specific stadium that can host a variety of events, there could be further studies for additional projects. If approved by the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau board at its next commission meeting, an additional study of the feasibility of constructing a sports complex will be commissioned, with the complex expected to house soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, baseball and softball.
With the city taking point on the project, Duffy says that the club’s task is to now continue with putting together a championship-caliber team ahead of the 2016 campaign while helping to further establish the club in the community. While that happens, various studies will be conducted, with the club expecting to hear on some sort of progress within 60-90 days.
As for the four locations, Duffy says that the club will let the city take charge in determining the feasibility of each. Still, the club hopes that a message has been sent regarding the city and club’s ambitions of pushing towards bigger and better in the local soccer community.
“They’re going to look at the impact on the community in the four different locations,” Duffy said. “Each is going to be unique from a location standpoint and how a stadium may impact the community with its location. That’s going to be a big piece of it. Obviously, the size of the area is needed. That’s going to be important.
“We know some of the pieces and elements that are necessary from a USL standpoint and with future goals in Major League Soccer, so as they’re on the ground working, we’re going to be there to support everyone that is a part of that here.”