LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Thousands of Cardinal fans made their way to Fourth Street Live! Tuesday afternoon to help celebrate the beginning of a new era for the University of Louisville Cardinals. Surprisingly, fans didn't seem to mind the muggy weather. Nothing it seemed, could keep fans from taking part in a huge day in UofL history.
On shoulders and in the Fourth Street rafters, it was guaranteed the Cardinal Faithful would show up for the Atlantic Coast Conference two-parter party. Mayor Greg Fischer was among those on hand to first watch Team USA play in the World Cup on the venue's big screen.
No one could have predicted the huge crowd that showed up to officially celebrate the Cards move to the ACC. Not even a hometown Hollywood star. The crowd watched a video narrated by Louisville's own Jennifer Lawrence, a self described UofL fan. In the video so told the audience "we are destined to reach epic and championship proportions" and continues to say,"this is the future, this is the ACC, this is the Louisville Cardinals, let's do this!"
Even UofL's Athletic Director Tom Jurich, the man responsible for helping get all sports in the 'Ville where they are today, was shocked at the Tuesday turnout in weather that felt like the inside of an oven. He joked, "In 103 degree weather, it's unbelievable!"
Cardinal legends like Darrell Griffith joined current stars like Sara Hammond, Wayne Blackshear and Montrezl Harrell on stage. Fans said they were thrilled that the ACC not only has arguably the top league in basketball, but in football the ACC means Head Coach Bobby Petrino will be hosting reigning National Champion Florida State at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium this season. "As you look at our schedule," Petrino told the crowd, "it really excites me as a coach."
Fan Sheri Rose said, "Going to the ACC, I think is great not only for athletics, but for academics." UofL President James Ramsey would agree. "What a great time to be a University of Louisville Cardinal," Ramsey said to cheers.
Later Ramsey said of the big crowd, "It shows how much the University of Louisville means to people, not just athletics, but the university in general means to the people in this community."