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A boost for your rainy Oaks Day/Cinco de Mayo

Louisville City doesn’t have a game this weekend. That may be just as well, considering that the city will more or less be shut down for horse-related hoopla for the next 48 or so hours. However, we’ve all still got City on our minds. In the spirit of the Kentucky Derby, check out the following email exchange while you drink your morning coffee/bloody mary/first mint julep of the weekend between ardent LouCity supporter Eric Kruer and Barbara Sexton Smith, Louisville Metro Councilwoman for District Four (which includes Butchertown):

To Barbara Sexton Smith,

Hello, my name is Eric Kruer and I am a Louisville City FC supporter. I live in Floyds Knobs, IN however I was born in Louisville and I work downtown. I wanted to write in to show my support for the club to build the proposed stadium in Butchertown.

I grew up in Columbus, Ohio and when I moved back to the area in 2004 to pursue my nursing degree, I never considered Louisville as a long term place to live and start a family. Because I’m from Columbus, Ohio, I also am a fan of Ohio State football (I have a Bachelors from the school). Even after all these years, I’ve never had any rooting connection to U of L or UK. This in return had prevented me to not having a strong connection to the city.

Around the time LouCity started play, I was able to convince my now wife and at the time 10 year old daughter to move down to start a family with me and my 7 year old son. This was a difficult move for them from Columbus, OH as they’d never lived anywhere but there. It was difficult at first- lots of trips back to OH to visit family- I know it did not feel like home for them. I was looking for something to bond us all- something that we could come together to have family time. This is where LouCity entered the picture.

From the first game of the first season, we were hooked. I grew up playing soccer and watched the English Premiere League but had no vested interest in a team because quite simply, how connected can one feel watching a team that plays on another continent? As the season played on, our connection to the team strengthened.

But it was not just a new love for a soccer team. Attending LouCity matches was pivotal in forging a bond with my step-daughter. We soon started having regular conversations about the club and as she’s grown older, supporting the club has become “our thing”. Our emotions from supporting LouCity have been full of both joy and disappointment. I’ll never forget when she cried in happiness when she opened her Christmas present to see that we had gotten season tickets for season two. Contrast that moment to holding her after our Eastern Conference Championship loss, that same season, both trying to choke back tears. As a sports fan knows, the good guys can’t always win, right?

I am writing in hopes to share my story to help paint a picture of what one team means to our family. And not just my family, but for the city, as I am certain this team means just as much to many others out there. Looking at social media alone, it’s easy to see what the team means to the city. From raising money for charities, connecting with local schools to let kids meet their soccer heroes, hospital visits from players, and to now help a loyal fan help get through the fight of his life with cancer. The club means so much to so many. It’s more than a sport or a building. It’s helping to create a stronger community for the city.

Thanks for listening,

Eric Kruer

Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith’s reply:

Eric, thank you for reaching out to me and letting me know you support the FC Soccer Stadium. Your story is beautiful and should be shared with everyone. Please consider submitting it to the Courier-Journal.

It is my hope soccer will open doors for many people in our community.

Thanks for being a great Citizen Soldier!

Barbara Sexton Smith
Councilwoman Fourth District

 This is great stuff! First, Eric’s story is fantastic. Second, Barbara’s response, while certainly an expert political non-committal, is a response and not a “no,” which is more than you’d expect from someone as busy as she is. I’m a huge fan of Barbara, having dealt with her in other arenas in the past. If you’ve got a story like Eric’s, send it to her or your own Metro Council representative, and let them know you support Louisville, Louisville City, and the stadium project. But I’d probably wait until at least Monday morning after everyone’s had some time to dry out, literally and figuratively.