Lou City FC prepares to play on during a pandemic, with or without fans

Lou City FC prepares to play on during a pandemic, with or without fans
The 11,700 seat Lynn Family Stadium awaits its debut as the home of Louisville City FC. (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News)
Louisville City FC players practiced on May 13, 2020 as the await teh resumption of the USL season.
Louisville City FC players practiced on May 13, 2020 as the await teh resumption of the USL season. (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - For Louisville City FC, the year 2020 was the opportunity to set new standards for fan experience. However, more than 11,000 empty seats tell a story of disruption and disappointment.

“It's really been tough you know, but we're trying to keep it in perspective,” Coach John Hackworth said. “We're trying to just be patient and do the things that we can do to get back to a place that is the new normal.”

Louisville City FC head coach John Hackworth
Louisville City FC head coach John Hackworth (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News)

What that new normal might be under the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic could be resuming play with empty stands, or some form of socially-distanced seating.

Players will resume practices Monday under tight restrictions including three temperature checks before being allowed to join practice. During practice, players will not be allowed to have contact.

The work is done at Lynn Family Stadium as the new soccer-specific facility awaits its debut as the home of Louisville City FC.
The work is done at Lynn Family Stadium as the new soccer-specific facility awaits its debut as the home of Louisville City FC. (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News)

“We won’t let them touch anything, especially the balls,” Hackworth said. “If a ball needs to be handled in any way outside of a goalkeeper, the ball will be taken out and cleaned. So we’re trying to make sure we mitigate many potential hazards to spreading the virus so that our players and staff are safe.”

Hackworth said no one on the team has contracted COVID-19 or had contact that required two weeks of isolation. Team leaders hope to keep it that way by rethinking how the team travels and the accommodations they have on the road.

No schedule has been set, but Hackworth said, depending on the virus, games could resume in the summer with the season extended late into the fall.

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