Late-ish this afternoon, Louisville City and Metro Government issued press releases about that stadium study we’ve all been waiting for. Surprise! It concludes we should have a stadium if the soccer team wants to survive! That’ll be $75,000, please.
The text of the study itself doesn’t tell us much we don’t already know. In some cases, it’s got some outdated information, i.e. who is and who is not playing in USL in 2017. The good news is, it appears the Mayor is on board. Metro Council will come next, at some point.
The high points:
- The stadium should seat at least 10,000 attendees
- The stadium will probably cost between $30-50 million. Not that bad, in my opinion, given what it costs to build things these days.
- The financing component will likely require a public funding contribution in the neighborhood of 50% of whatever the total cost is.
That last bullet point is going to justifiably raise some consternation among voters, soccer fan and not. Public financing for stadiums is problematic. Personally, I’m not a fan. The problem is, that without it, the project is dead in the water without some angel investor willing to drop serious money on it. And I think it’s become painfully clear that without a stadium, the club is as good as dead.
Case in point: Dan Karrell with the C-J tweeted earlier today that the club pulled in $2.3 million in revenue last year against expenses of $3 million. 80% of the club’s revenues were via ticket sales. That’s absurd. No sports team survives on ticket sales alone, at least not a professional one. I shudder to think how much money the Bats and Centerplate are making from concessions and beer sales during games. I’d wager it’s enough to put a sizeable, if not wholesale dent in that $700,000 gap.
The club and the Mayor are optimistic about the study, of course. It will be interesting to see what happens in terms of funding and location, and the political backdrop that will accompany both of those issues.