Louisville City announced today on Twitter that if they beat Indy Eleven in the third round of the US Open Cup in a couple weeks, they’ll host the Chicago Fire in…Lexington, at the Bell Soccer Complex on the University of Kentucky’s campus. Lexington is obviously not Louisville, but most cartographers agree that it IS a lot closer to home than Chicago. Club president Amanda Duffy’s official statement on the choice of venue said:
“A lot of dynamics play a role in selecting a venue to compete in: the Louisville Bats play at home on June 15 and will obviously be at Slugger Field, and other venues in Louisville were not willing or able to make themselves available to Louisville City while also meeting the minimum standards that the U.S. Soccer Federation has in place.”
My personal read of that quote is that Slugger obvs wasn’t available, and the three or four stadia owned by UofL and/or Bellarmine weren’t going to be open to us, so Lexington it is.
First: if you’re a UofL fan who just abhors the idea of even setting foot on UK’s campus, take a deep breath and remember that this is Louisville City FC, not the Louisville Cardinals. It’s not the club’s fault that Bell Soccer Complex was the closest suitable available venue.
Second: Bell is pretty nice. It’s basically brand new, just like Lynn Stadium, just a little smaller. That swath of the UK campus is nice, too, and it’s just across the street from the Kentucky State Botanical Garden and arboretum that I threw up in once when I was in college.
Third: Lexington is a nice, small city to visit. No one’s making you pull up stakes and move there. Also, Lexington has some great breweries that you should check out if you make the very short trip, from West Sixth to Country Boy to Blue Stallion to Alltech’s Lexington Brewery which produces Kentucky Ale and the like. Or you could visit the horse park, or the Woodford Reserve distillery in Versailles, or wherever. It’s not going to kill you.
All of this hoopla is moot, of course, should Louisville City fail to beat Indy Eleven, and then you’ll have wasted your internet outrage for nothing.
Anyway, Lexington is fine. Don’t let the horrendously overblown college rivalry thing influence your decision on whether to go. Do you love Louisville City FC? Then go to the game. It’s easy! See you there.