Louisville City FC and the Mayor’s office announced yesterday evening that the Metro Government has engaged Convention Sports & Leisure, International, a Minnesota-based consulting firm, to help them figure out the feasibility of financing and building a soccer-specific stadium in Louisville. The C-J’s Jonathan Lintner’s article has some nice quotes from Amanda Duffy and Mayor Fischer, most of which is expectedly PR-speak. Interestingly, though, Metro Councilman for the 21st District, is planning to bring a resolution before Metro Council today for vote that would make the former River Road Country Club and Champions Park the site for the new stadium.
“That’s where (the team) wants it to be, and I think it makes all kinds of sense,” [Johnson] added over the phone. “We’re spending money on somebody to tell us where it ought to be. I’m just trying to say this is where they want it.”
Plain English coming from a politician? Breath of fresh air in this political climate! Dan, you’re making me blush! Granted, any such resolution doesn’t actually do anything other than advise that the Council thinks it’s a good idea, but that’s better than nothing.
Anyway, what all this brouhaha boils down to is that there was announcement that the Metro Government and the club are working with this company to talk about a stadium. Because Metro Government is involved, that means the contract with CSLI is public record. Some enterprising Cooper with control of our Twitter account (not me!) tweeted a link out to the agreement last night, so I took the time to look it over. Here are some pertinent details:
- Metro Government commissioned the study, for starters, not LCFC.
- The idea is to build an 8,000-10,000 seat stadium that could be expanded to 20,000 seats if the club goes to MLS.
- CSLI will perform a market demand analysis, looking at the history of soccer in the U.S. and USL’s history in particular, as well as local market conditions including demographics, corporate base, and the popularity of soccer in the market in general.
- The stadium probably can’t sit idle aside from game days, so there will be some attention paid to local competition for other events that the stadium could attract to bring in more revenue, i.e. stuff UofL or the State Fair Board owns.
- The agreement basically calls for the study to focus on sites in or near downtown (YESSSSSSS).
- Obviously there will be a financial/economic impact study done so these guys can justify spending public money on the thing, which is another argument for another day. The language of the agreement does not, however, rule out private funding for the project. Then again, why would it?
- Unfortunately there’s a confidentiality clause so we don’t get unfettered access to all the data, reports, and other information that the club and city give to these guys. No fun!
So this is all kind of fun to think about, but nothing’s done until a ball is kicked on the first game day in our new stadium, coming to you live from the site where 4th Street Live used to be before they blew it up and moved LCFC into it forever starting in 2017. All of this will totally happen. Can’t wait for the next announcement!