With Louisville City FC pacing USL Championship in attendance and Racing Louisville FC posting solid numbers in NWSL, Louisville is now a U.S. soccer hotbed.
Louisville City FC always posted decent numbers while playing at Louisville Slugger Field, home of MiLB’s Louisville Bats, after moving from Orlando for the 2015 season, but the opening of Lynn Family Stadium in 2020 certainly gave the team a huge boost and afforded ownership to take on a NWSL squad as well, Racing Louisville FC. Louisville City FC led USL Championship in attendance this season, averaging 10,020 fans per game in reported numbers, and Racing Louisville FC finished second in NWSL attendance at 6,508 fans per match in reported numbers, behind perennial box-office powerhouse Portland Thorns. Louisville City FC made the playoffs, and Lynn Family Stadium will host the NWSL championship game. Add in a new $15 million training center and office complex, and it’s been a great year for Louisville soccer.
So what’s next for the Louisville soccer juggernaut? According to team owner John Neace and team president Brad Estes, a charitable effort is definitely in the future, and overseas efforts might be in the future:
“Soccer is a world sport. so there are opportunities around soccer that exist all over the world,” Neace said. “Our goal is to be one of those leading organizations in bringing the same kinds of opportunities for Lou City to grow in to some of these other countries.”
The foundation the two are a part of launching is the Louisville Soccer Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) that will seek to “advance the health and wellness of the community through the power of soccer,” according to a statement from the organization.
“Professional soccer clubs around the world support charitable foundations,” said Estes. “From our organization’s inception, we have envisioned a foundation that leverages the clubs’ platforms as well as the passion from our supporters and sponsors to do good in our community.”