Lou City FC fans brave heat to celebrate stadium groundbreaking

Lou City FC celebrates stadium groundbreaking with fans
Updated: Jun. 28, 2018 at 9:38 PM EDT
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It was a hot day, but hundreds of Lou City fans showed up. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
It was a hot day, but hundreds of Lou City fans showed up. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The $65 million stadium is expected to open in early 2020. (Source: Lou City FC)
The $65 million stadium is expected to open in early 2020. (Source: Lou City FC)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Louisville City Football Club officially broke ground on its new soccer stadium in Butchertown on Thursday afternoon.

The ceremony happened on the stadium grounds at Cabel and Adams Street.

Hundreds of fans braved the high temperatures to be part of the historic day. Lou City FC had the World Cup playing as people waited for the ceremony.

The $65 million stadium will have 11,300 seats, 18 suites, a huge video board and an entertainment complex. It means about 1,700 temporary construction jobs and 1,400 other jobs going forward.

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Owners plan to open the stadium in early 2020.

Lou City FC owners who made the stadium project a reality brought together fans and officials including Gov. Matt Bevin, Mayor Greg Fischer, Metro Council Members, and Head Coach James O'Connor, who led the team to take the USL Championship.

The mayor reminded everyone it was just four years ago that the talented team came to town.

"We put together a championship soccer franchise with a ferocious fan base, while playing in a baseball stadium in a town known for horse racing and basketball," Mayor Fischer said.

Coach O'Connor gave credit to the team's owners.

"The owners -- first and foremost the owners -- the owners have had tremendous vision and tremendous commitment over the years," O'Connor said. "To be able to see it through to show people it's not a silly idea to get soccer in Louisville."

Ryan Gedney, the stadiums senior designer, talked about the need to make the barrel-shaped stadium a unique place.

"It was really important for us to understand not only Louisville, but Butchertown and the culture of this place at a broader level," Gedney said. "That drove everything we did."

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Gov. Bevin shared praise.

"A lot of moving parts to make this happen," he said. "It starts with vision and idea and capitol and people working together at every level...to create the opportunity."

Councilman David James said city leaders invested in this project because they believe in it. The crowd at the groundbreaking seemed like a good omen for what's to come for the reigning USL champions.

Copyright 2018 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.