Louisville Slugger Field
|Slugger Field, LSF|
|Location||401 East Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202
|Owner||The Metro Development Authority
Louisville Baseball Club, Inc.
|Operator||Louisville Baseball Club, Inc.|
|Field size||Left Field: 325 feet
Center Field: 405 feet
Right Field: 340 feet
|Broke ground||November 13, 1998|
|Opened||April 12, 2000|
|Construction cost||$40 million
($54.8 million in 2015 dollars)
K. Norman Berry Associates
|Structural engineer||Rangaswamy & Associates|
|Services engineer||CMTA Consulting Engineers|
|General contractor||Turner/Barton Malow|
|Louisville Bats (IL) (2000–present)
Louisville City FC (USL) (2015–present)
Louisville Slugger Field is a baseball stadium in Louisville, Kentucky and is home to the Louisville Bats, the AAA affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. It opened in 2000 with seats for 13,131 fans. The Ohio River and state of Indiana are visible from the park. The design of Louisville Slugger Field is unique due to a former train shed that was on the grounds being incorporated into the stadium. The naming rights for the stadium were purchased by Hillerich & Bradsby, makers of the famous Louisville Slugger baseball bat and the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is down the street. The stadium is accessible from I-64 and I-65.
The Louisville Bats and the City of Louisville broke ground on Louisville Slugger Field back on November 13, 1998. In front of a crowd estimated at about 1,000, Mayor Jerry Abramson and Governor Paul E. Patton cut out the first home plate before they broke the ground with Bats President Gary Ulmer and other officials.
The design of Louisville Slugger Field is a joint effort of HNTB Architects of Kansas City, Mo and K. Norman Berry Associates of Louisville. The field was financed through a partnership between the city, the Bats, Hillerich & Bradsby, the Brown Foundation, Humana Inc. and the Humana Foundation.
The stadium includes 11,522 fixed seats with room for 1,609 additional spectators in the picnic areas and berm sections. The ballpark also includes 32 private suites, 850 second-level club seats, a continuous concourse around the field, an outfield seating berm, extensive press facilities, concessions and restrooms, a children's play area, team and administrative offices and numerous retail amenities. Spectators enter the stadium through the restored "train shed" building, which was formerly the Brinly-Hardy Co. warehouse.
On Main Street, there's a statue of Louisville native and Baseball Hall of Famer Pee Wee Reese, and on the Witherspoon Street side, a statue of Football Hall of Famer, Paul Hornung, occupies a busy corner.
In the late 2013, a new Soccer Supporters group formed in Louisville called The Louisville Coopers with one of their stated missions being to find a home team to support in a league at the highest level Louisville can sustain. After crossing the 1,000 members mark, the Louisville Coopers caught the attention of Orlando City Soccer Club. Orlando has just been awarded an MLS Expansion Team and was in need of a place to move their USL Pro team. On January 14, 2014, Orlando owners Phil Rawlins and Wayne Estopinal visited Louisville to meet with Mayor Greg Fischer and The Louisville Coopers. While doing so the owners expressed their interest in having the new team play at Louisville Slugger Field.
On April 13, 2014 Wayne Estopinal and The Estopinal Group announced they had reached a tentative lease agreement with Slugger Field. The Estopinal Group also released renderings of how Louisville Slugger Field would look for a game. The renderings featured an advertisement wall, covering the left outfield side. The plan included the addition of two soccer locker rooms, plus a removable baseball mound. The plan allowed for a 9,500 capacity for soccer, with an expected attendance of 8,000 per game by the Estopinal Group. By the time Louisville City made its playing debut, its league had rebranded itself as the United Soccer League.
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- Lintner, Jonathan (April 14, 2014). "USL to Louisville Movement Needs More Investors". The Courier-Journal (Louisville). Retrieved May 15, 2014.
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