It’s unlikely the city will land MLS any time soon, but that didn’t stop city and team leaders to announce a new Louisville City FC stadium seating 10,000 that could possibly be expanded for a future move from USL to MLS.
The new Louisville City FC stadium would be the anchor of a $200 million economic development plan for 35 acres in the city’s Butchertown area. The new Louisville City FC stadium would sit on 15 acres, open in 2020, cost $50 million and be financed by the team. It would be expandable to 20,000 seats in anticipation of a future MLS move. The overall project, which will include retail, a hotel and offices, will built by private investment potentially backed by TIF financing.
“This is an exciting, worthwhile project that takes an underused, very visible swath of land and creates a vibrant new stadium district that builds on the momentum downtown, in Nulu and Butchertown,” Mayor Greg Fischer said in announcing the project. “This is a smart opportunity, and when smart opportunities to move our city forward come up, we’re going to grab them.”
“Today marks another important step in our vision to be the best United Soccer League club in the country, with the ultimate goal of bringing Major League Soccer to Louisville,” said Louisville City FC Chairman and President John Neace. “We look forward to building a world-class soccer stadium and surrounding development that continues revitalization in the Butchertown neighborhood.”
Louisville Metro Government’s would spend $30 million on the purchase of land and fund brownfield remediation and public infrastructure improvements. A new stadium district would feature the soccer stadium, Louisville Slugger Field and the Yum! Center, all within blocks of each other, along with hotel, restaurant and retail amenities.
The city’s $30 million portion will be covered by general obligation bond — $25 million to buy the land and $5 million as a contribution to brownfield remediation and public infrastructure. The USL team will pay $14.5 million back to the city over 20 years from sales of land, rent from leases of land, and stadium rent.
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