In Memoriam: Wayne Estopinal

Louisville City FCWayne Estopinal, who brought the USL to Kentucky in the form of Louisville City FC, was killed in a plane accident yesterday in southern Indiana. He was 63.

Estopinal engineered the move of the Orlando City FC team to Louisville for 2015 when Orlando entered MLS. He also planned out the move to have the team play at Louisville Slugger Field while planning and construction occurred on a new stadium. After disagreements with his other Louisville investors, he downgraded his position with the team and eventually sold off his ownership stake. He still remained active with his architectural firm, TEG Architects, as well as marketing a pitching mound that could be lowered or raised, based on need.

He was a passenger in a small plan en route to Chicag0-Midway Airport. From the Louisville Courier Journal:

The Chicago-bound jet had lost contact with air traffic controllers and attempted to return to the Clark Regional Airport just before it crashed in a wooded area around 11:30 a.m., roughly 16 miles north of Louisville, authorities said.

There were no survivors.

Authorities began sifting through small pieces Friday afternoon that lay scattered among blackened trees. Police had not identified the other two victims as of 7:30 p.m.

The following statements were released today by LouCity President Brad Estes and principal owner John Neace.

“We at LouCity are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of club founder Wayne Estopinal. We would not be the club we are today without his innovation, leadership, and hard work, and his contributions to the community are something for which we are incredibly grateful. Our hearts are with Wayne’s family and loved ones at this time.”

“Greater Louisville lost a great corporate citizen today. Wayne was very active in the soccer community and will be missed by us all. We mourn this inexpressible loss and today acknowledge his contributionto Louisville City FC and the entire Louisville soccer community.”

Image courtesy Louisville City FC.

RELATED STORIES: Wayne Estopinal Reduces Role With Louisville FCResults of Louisville Study Forthcoming; Louisville City: Too Small for MLS, Too Big for USL?New Louisville City FC stadium in works?; Louisville City FC: Build for USL, expand for MLS

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August Publications