Louisville City FC one step closer to securing funds for new sta - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Louisville City FC one step closer to securing funds for new stadium

Louisville City FC is still working to shore up the money needed to build their stadium in Butchertown. (Source: Louisville City FC) Louisville City FC is still working to shore up the money needed to build their stadium in Butchertown. (Source: Louisville City FC)
This is the site where work has begun to clear a spot for the stadium. (Source: WAVE 3 News) This is the site where work has begun to clear a spot for the stadium. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Contractors are working to determine what the economic impact from the stadium would be. (Source: Louisville City FC) Contractors are working to determine what the economic impact from the stadium would be. (Source: Louisville City FC)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) took the first step in a lengthy process to determine how much state funding Louisville City Football Club could receive for their new development in Butchertown.

The KEDFA gave the club preliminary approval to use a portion of the project's tax revenue towards their $50 million stadium.

"Lou City is happy with the vote of confidence in Frankfort, allowing us to clear this first hurdle in the TIF process," Brad Estes, Executive VP of Louisville City FC said. "There is much work to be done and we are up to the task."

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The club is depending on tax increment financing (TIF), for funds that will cover the development. The project, estimated to cost $193.1 million, includes a 10,000 seat stadium, two hotels, plus retail, restaurant, and office space.

"Even if this is simply a box checked to proceed down the path of getting a stadium, every step is a critical one," Tom Farmer said. "So we will be there every step of the way."

Farmer is president of The Coopers, the Louisville City FC supporter group. Farmer says the USL Champions deserve their own home.

Construction will not begin until late this year, but the city has begun clearing and preparing the site.

Louisville Metro Council committed to $5 million in infrastructure costs.

"This is an unused blighted area," Farmer said. "It's not just about soccer, it's about taking this part of the community and making it better."

The site for the stadium is located at the former Challenger Lifts site on Adams street. Farmer says the Coopers have begun frequenting restaurants and shops in Butchertown to generate more hype around the neighborhood.

"We are excited about the stadium coming in and when we signed our lease we didn't even know," Sondra Powell said.

Powell is the owner of Red Hot Roasters, which recently opened a second location in Butchertown.

She is pleasantly surprised that her cafe could be located near the new soccer stadium.

"We want to grow with the neighborhood and be a part of the neighborhood," Powell told us.

As mentioned previously, Louisville City FC is depending on TIF money to fund part of the stadium.  

To determine exactly how much money the club will receive from that, the state hired an outside contractor to figure out how much economic impact is estimated.

The club also hired a private contractor, who estimated over a 20 year period the development could generate $3.8 billion in economic impact.

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While it will take a few months for the state's contractor to come up with a number, the club hopes to start construction in August or September with a completion date of March 2020.

"Any step that brings us closer to making this our home we are thrilled about it," Farmer said.

Powell at Red Hot Roasters is excited for the future, even if funds that will cover the project at not completely set in stone.

"You can't find a place to park where they have their games now so it could only help us," she said.

The estimated completion date for the stadium isn't until 2020, so these businesses still have a couple years before they see the crowds.

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