|Former names||Fairgrounds Stadium (1957-1982)|
|Location||937 Phillips Lane, Louisville, KY 40209|
|Owner||Kentucky Exposition Center|
|Operator||Kentucky Exposition Center|
Stage Set-up: 19,901
End Stage Set-up: 47,925
Left Field - 360 feet (110 m)
Center Field - 405 feet (123 m)
Right Field - 312 feet (95 m)
|Louisville Cardinals football (NCAA)(1957-1997)
Louisville Cardinals baseball (NCAA) (through 2005)
Louisville Raiders (UFL) (1960-1962)
Louisville Colonels (Triple-A IL) (1968-1972)
Kentucky Trackers (AFA) (1979-1980)
Louisville Redbirds/RiverBats (Triple-A AA/IL) (1982-1999)
Kentucky State Fair concerts and events (1998-present)
Kentucky Xtreme practice only (2012-Present)
Cardinal Stadium is the name of a former college and minor league baseball and college football stadium in Louisville, Kentucky. It is on the grounds of the Kentucky Exposition Center, and was called Fairgrounds Stadium when it first opened its doors to baseball in 1957.
The lone Bluegrass Bowl was held here in 1958. Cardinal Stadium was home to the Louisville Raiders football team from 1960 through 1962. It was the home to two minor league baseball teams in Louisville: the Louisville Colonels in 1968-1972 and the Louisville Redbirds in 1982-1999. It was to be the home of the American League Kansas City Athletics when their owner Charles O. Finley signed a contract to move the team to Louisville in 1964, but the American League owners voted against the move. The Kentucky Trackers of the AFA played at Cardinal Stadium 1979-1980. It also served as the home of the University of Louisville football team from 1957-1997 and their baseball team 1998-2004. It was also used heavily as a high school football stadium, hosting state championship games from in 1964-2002, including hosting all four state championship games played annually 1979-2002. Several local schools also played some games in Cardinal Stadium prior to 1998, including the annual St. Xavier-Trinity rivalry featuring the two major boys Catholic high schools in the city.
The stadium is now largely vacant, with its primary use as a venue for music concert and automotive events occurring during the Kentucky State Fair. This is due to the University's football team moving into Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in 1998, the minor league baseball team, now named the Louisville Bats and playing in the International League, moving into Louisville Slugger Field in 2000, and finally the University's baseball team moving into Jim Patterson Stadium in 2005.
Outside of the concerts for the Kentucky State Fair, the Rolling Stones played a concert at Cardinal Stadium on Sept. 19, 1989, as part of the Steel Wheels Tour. Living Color opened for the legendary rock band. Boy band N'Sync performed at Cardinal Stadium on Aug. 10, 2001, as part of the PopOdyssey Tour.
There was talk about tearing down Cardinal Stadium in order to build a new indoor arena, as part of the long term push to build a new indoor-facility to replace the aging Freedom Hall which is also at the Exposition Center. However, this is likely moot with the 2010 opening of the downtown KFC Yum! Center and continued use of Freedom Hall as a venue for concerts and smaller sporting events. The most recent plans from the Kentucky State Fair Board seek to demolish this facility to build an outdoor amphitheater with permanent seating for 12,000. On April 26, 2013, The Kentucky State Fair Board stated that the seating in the stadium was unstable for people to sit in. The Fair Board plans to have seating on the field during the state fair concerts in 2013 at the stadium. The Fair Board also plans to sometime demolish the stadium in the future.
- "Finley Signs Contract to Transfer Athletics to Louisville", New York Times, 1964-01-06, retrieved 2008-04-29
- John Drebinger (1964-01-18). "Finley Will Open in Kansas City, But Promises Court Action Soon". New York Times.