During an announcement Tuesday that the Louisville Urban League would move forward with a proposal to build a $30 million indoor track and field facility at Heritage West, Louisville Metro Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, D-5, stated that the “soccer stadium” would be involved in the project.
Hamilton left her comments vague but was referring to the professional soccer club Louisville City FC, which is currently seeking approvals for a $40 million, 10,000-seat soccer stadium in the Butchertown neighborhood.
Club leadership has said in the past that Louisville City FC will need a separate training facility at some point in the future as the team currently practices at Thurman Hutchins Park off River Road. Tuesday’s announcement, along with Hamilton’s comment, led to questions about whether Heritage West could serve as the site of Louisville City FC’s training facility.
Tim Mulloy, who is an owner of Louisville City FC and an adviser to the Urban League on the Heritage West development, told Insider that he believes the 24-acre site will be too small to accommodate both a soccer training facility and the Urban League’s development.
The indoor track and field building is just the beginning of the Urban League’s plans. The organization also hopes to eventually construct an outdoor track and sports’ fields, as well as possibly offer space for commercial storefronts at the property at 30th Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard.
Louisville City FC will play a role at Heritage West, however, Mulloy said, noting that the east side of Louisville needs to support the west. Once the facility is built, Mulloy said that the club will host soccer camps and possibly hold some practices at Heritage West during indoor track and field’s off-season (April through November).
While Louisville City FC won’t be building a full-fledged training facility at Heritage West, club leadership has told Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government officials that they are interested in building a training facility, which would include a field and locker rooms, somewhere in West Louisville.
Louisville City FC is “leaving every option open as it relates to a West End facility,” said Brad Estes, executive vice president for Louisville City FC.
Estes told Insider that the team won’t be able to build a training complex next to its stadium in Butchertown.
“It’s really just land honestly,” Estes said. “We will have a nice stadium with one field. You can’t practice full time on that, or you’ll tear it up.”
Right now, Louisville City FC is focused on moving the proposed stadium through the city approvals process. The development is expected to go before Louisville Metro Council in the near future to talk about city tax incentives.
Club leadership hasn’t started looking seriously at a future training facility because, as they have said in the past, the stadium is needed first in order to keep Louisville City FC operating as a professional team in the United Soccer League. Louisville City FC currently plays its games at Louisville Slugger Field.