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Louisville City FC soccer team gets financing in place for new stadium just east of downtown

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Financing terms are now in place so construction can begin on a new stadium for the Louisville City FC soccer team, just east of the downtown area in the Butchertown neighborhood.

Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank will lead the syndication of the $55 million facility.  The transaction is expected to be finalized in August, allowing the project to remain on its construction schedule. 

An artist’s rendering of the Louisville stadium. (Provided)

“Fifth Third Bank is proud to assist as part of the LouCity process for the Butchertown stadium development,” said Mike Ash, Fifth Third Bank Regional President, Kentucky. “Louisville City FC is building something special in our city and we are proud to help them serve the community in this way.”
No public money is involved in the construction, as all the funding for the 11,300-seat facility is being borne by the Louisville City FC ownership, with a targeted opening date of March 2020.

Louisville City secured $21.7 million in TIF financing at the end of May, which will flow back to the club as revenue as it generates incremental taxes in the district. The TIF was a key component to obtaining the bank financing, as it will help service the debt for the stadium.
“LouCity is proud to partner with Fifth Third Bank, an institution with a strong reputation for community involvement,” said Brad Estes, LouCity Executive VP. “We can’t thank Louisville Metro and the Commonwealth enough, as none of this would be possible without their help.  This is legacy work that will leave a permanent impression on our city, and we can’t wait to get started.”

Construction on the development is expected to begin next month, with the targeted opening date in March 2020.

In addition to the soccer pitch, the stadium will include retail, a hotel, and offices, built by private investment.

The project is expected to increase hotel, restaurant, and retail amenities nearby and create a “stadium district” where the soccer stadium, Louisville Slugger Field, and the Yum! Center are all within blocks of each other, along the same line of sight.

A potential long-term goal is for the city of Louisville to attract a Major League Soccer franchise to the new stadium.  One was awarded to Cincinnati in May, which will begin to play in 2019.

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