Louisville City FC Stadium Plan Takes a Step Forward

Louisville City FC stadium rendering

Following a vote on Tuesday night, a proposed new Louisville City FC stadium has taken a step forward, though further consideration will take place. 

Louisville City FC is pitching a new soccer-specific stadium as part of a $200 million development for 35 acres in the city’s Butchertown neighborhood. Under financial details that were presented last month, the stadium would cost $50 million and be financed by the team, while the overall project–which will include retail, a hotel and offices–will be built by private investment and potentially backed by TIF financing.

Also included in the plan is a proposal for Louisville Metro Government to approve a $30 million general obligation bond. Out of that amount, $25 million would be used for land acquisition, with the additional $5 million used as a contribution to brownfield remediation and public infrastructure.

During a meeting on Tuesday, the Metro Council’s budget committee approved the bonding in a 4-1 vote, meaning that the bond will now be considered by the full council next Thursday. A representative of Pegasus Institute, a think thank, said that he believes the city is moving through the discussions too quickly, but city officials defended the timing of their decision. More from The Louisville Courier-Journal:

“They’re moving too quickly,” said Jordan Harris, executive director of the Pegasus Institute. “There are a lot of outstanding questions that the community hasn’t had the opportunities to raise.”

But the fast-track is necessary because the city’s option on the land expires on Nov. 10, Fischer’s office and some council Democratic leaders said.

“Any delay has the potential to impact the project,” said [Mayor Greg] Fischer spokesman Chris Poynter.

Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith, who represents the Butchertown area, said “it has become very clear to me and obvious that the greatest risk and only real risk to us is if we do not do this project.”

Louisville City FC will pay $14.5 million back to the city over 20 years from sales of land, rent from leases of land, and stadium rent. The project’s timeline calls for the stadium to open in 2020. Replacing Louisville City FC’s current home–Louisville Slugger Field–the soccer-specific facility would seat 10,000, but could be expanded in the event that the club is ever able to move from USL to MLS.

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