Demolition to begin on Old Cardinal Stadium

Demolition to begin on Old Cardinal Stadium
The stadium at the Kentucky Exposition Center opened in 1956. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - One of the places at the Kentucky State Fairgrounds where Louisville’s sports fans went to watch their teams play will soon become a memory.

Kentucky Venues has announced the official kickoff of demolition of the 63 year old Cardinal Stadium will begin on Thursday. Gov. Matt Bevin and Tourism Secretary Don Parkinson are expected to be on hand for a media event to officially commence the demolition.

Old Cardinal Stadium was once home to the UofL Cardinals and the Louisville Redbirds.
Old Cardinal Stadium was once home to the UofL Cardinals and the Louisville Redbirds. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

Built in 1956 as Fairgrounds Stadium, the ballpark originally served as home to University of Louisville football for 40 seasons. For five seasons it was also home to the Louisville Colonels AAA baseball team.

Following the 1972 season, the stadium was converted to a football-only facility, a state it remained in for nine years before being renovated to accommodate the arrival of the Louisville Redbirds in 1982. At that time it also received a new name - Cardinal Stadium.

After renovation prior to the 1982 baseball season to house the Louisville Redbirds, the stadium had a capacity of just over 33,000.
After renovation prior to the 1982 baseball season to house the Louisville Redbirds, the stadium had a capacity of just over 33,000. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

In the last years of the 20th Century, the stadium lost its two primary tenants. UofL football moved to its new on campus facility for the 1998 season and the baseball club, then called the Louisville RiverBats, moved to a new stadium in downtown Louisville in April 2000.

After the seating areas of the stadium were declared unsafe for occupancy in 2013, the facility continued to host outdoor concerts during the Kentucky State Fair for the next two years with seating for spectators placed on the playing field level.

The right field bleachers were removed and sold for scrap metal in late 2014.

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