Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer released his proposed city budget this afternoon, and it calls for $581,000 in improvements to Louisville Slugger Field so that the city-owned stadium can accommodate a USL Pro soccer team starting in 2015.
Mayor Fischer with members of The Coopers in January 2014. [enlarge photo]
The Metro Council is scheduled to vote on the city’s 2014-15 capital project budget on June 19.
The city’s allocation covers the construction of a new locker room, the purchase of turf for the baseball infield and other improvements. In January, USL Louisville’s chief proponent, Wayne Estopinal, identified the city’s financial support for Slugger Field improvements as a key part of his formula for making pro soccer happen in Louisville.
While we await official word that Louisville will field a USL Pro soccer team in 2015 (we’re hearing we could expect an announcement on June 4), this is a very encouraging reminder that #SoccerAtSlugger has been embraced by the city and by Slugger Field’s primary leaseholder, the Louisville Bats baseball team. Without their support, we’d likely be watching with envy next season as cities like St. Louis debut their USL Pro expansion teams.
Last month, we posted several renderings depicting Slugger Field in a soccer layout.