The United Soccer League’s (USL’s) Louisville City FC has entered into a partnership with architects HOK for the design of a soccer-specific stadium and adjacent development projects, a key step in the club’s pursuit of a long-term home.
HOK will design a 10,000-seat stadium that could later expand in capacity to 20,000. The overall site plan will also include space for office and retail development.
LouCity Chairman John Neace said:
We’re getting closer to securing a lot in urban Louisville, and now we’re thinking about what we can build on it. HOK’s work ensures that once a location is determined, community members will have a tangible picture of Louisville City FC’s future.
HOK has worked since 2015 with the LouCity’s United Soccer League, helping position each of its clubs in soccer-specific stadiums by 2020.
The firm’s soccer portfolio boasts Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home to MLS’ Atlanta United, the San Jose Earthquakes’ Avaya Stadium and a number of USL ventures.
LouCity currently pays to rent and play in Louisville Slugger Field, also home for the Triple-A Louisville Bats baseball franchise.
A soccer-specific stadium would open new revenue streams and scheduling opportunities while raising the pitch to international standards.
LouCity Coach James O’Connor said:
When you throw everything into the mix, it really is a must that we have these things in place at a stadium.
Apart from the financial implications of playing at Slugger, I think the supporters should have a place they can call home and for us to have a pitch that’s one surface and fully sized.
O’Connor has led LouCity to consecutive appearances in the USL Eastern Conference Final, earning 100 points in 58 regular-season games since 2015—the most of any team in the league. An average of 7,218 fans attended LouCity’s 2016 USL games, ranking third of 30 clubs.
A study conducted by Convention, Sports & Leisure and Legends and released last August by Louisville Forward confirmed that a soccer-specific stadium is needed to maintain and grow professional soccer in Louisville.