Louisville mayor, city take first step in funding soccer stadium, West End indoor track projects

Money to advance the recently announced plans to build a pro soccer stadium in Butchertown and an indoor track and field facility in western Louisville will be included in an upcoming bond issue planned by Louisville Metro Government.Mayor Greg Fischer announced Monday that the city intends to sell the bonds for a handful of strategic economic development projects.The projects include bond money for the Butchertown development centered on the soccer stadium for Louisville City FC that Fischer announced Friday. The bonds also will finance another $30 million in economic development efforts, Fischer said.An ordinance providing for the bond issue is being introduced this week by 4th District Metro Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith. The issue would include $30 million to buy about 35 acres of land in Butchertown for the stadium, as well as brownfield remediation and public infrastructure improvements. Bond project: Indoor track and field facility planned at site of old Foodport project Louisville City FC: Mayor, team reveal details on financing stadium project Projects that may be supported in future bonding include:►The Louisville Urban League’s $30 million plan for a state-of-the-art multi-sports complex anchored by an indoor track-and-field facility on the 24-acre Heritage West property located at 3029 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. The track facility is expected to cost up to $5 million, with the rest of the money to support proposed mixed-use development that may include a hotel, restaurants and retailing.►The $35 million plan to expand Waterfront Park down river into Russell and Shippingport. The plan calls for plazas, pathways, play areas, green spaces, footbridges, sculptures, fountains, and an extension of River Road from where it currently ends near 10th Street to around 14th Street.►A variety of improvements at Riverview Park, 8202 Greenwood Road, in southwest Louisville. You may like: Upgrades Continue Reading

Louisville City FC releases ownership list ahead of soccer stadium resolution vote

Louisville City FC released a complete list of its owners for the first time Thursday, naming 47 people who own a stake in the second-tier professional soccer club. The club released the list at the request of reporters and of Metro Council members, who are assisting Louisville City FC in securing city and state financing to build a 10,000-seat soccer stadium in Butchertown.Club owners include local development tycoon Gill Holland, University of Louisville board of trustees member Sandra Frazier, and newly-appointed University of Louisville acting athletic director Vince Tyra.  Related: Plan to finance Louisville soccer stadium is moving too quickly, group says The council's Budget Committee voted 4-1 on Tuesday to approve a $30 million bond for the stadium, which the club plans to be playing in by 2020, the deadline set by the professional United Soccer League. The council's Labor and Economic Development Committee on Thursday voted 4-1 in favor of a resolution to ask the state for assistance through a tax-increment financing, or TIF, district. Club owners said they would seek approximately $30 million in TIF assistance.  A team-funded economic impact study conducted by Commonwealth Economics estimated the Butchertown stadium development project will create approximately $261.4 million in state and local tax revenue over 20 years. Earlier this week, members of a conservative-leaning think tank said the city is moving too quickly on the $200 million soccer stadium development project, which calls for the city to leverage a $30 million bond to buy 40 acres of land for the development.  Read this: Louisville spends more on AD Tom Jurich than 4 major academic departments Under the bond measure, the city is proposing to use $25 million for the land purchase with the remaining $5 million going toward public infrastructure. But club board members and the mayor's office Continue Reading

A Louisville City FC soccer stadium by 2020? Mayor, team reveal details on financing project

Joined by soccer enthusiasts and Louisville City FC fans, players and owners, Mayor Greg Fischer announced Friday that the city wants to fork over $30 million to help local investors build a 10,000-seat stadium for the club in the Butchertown area.The public-private partnership is being heralded as a $200 million project that will put acres of underused land to good use, revitalize neighborhoods near downtown, put Louisville in the running for a Major League Soccer franchise and attract young professionals to the city."Soccer is a sport that is obviously attractive to everybody, but especially millennials and our international population as well," Fischer said in his podcast Friday morning. "We want to compete for an MLS franchise at some point in time, and having a dedicated soccer stadium is required for that." Impact: Soccer stadium could be big boost for Butchertown Take a look: See renderings for new Louisville City FC stadium in Butchertown Fischer said at a news conference later that afternoon that the city would use $25 million to buy the land for the soccer field in Butchertown. The city will contribute another $5 million for infrastructure improvements."We're contributing the land, and I'm really excited about what we're getting back in return," Fischer said.The mayor's office stressed no local tax dollars will be used for the stadium's construction and that Louisville City FC will repay metro government $14.5 million over 20 years from sales of land and stadium rent. In addition, if the soccer stadium hits certain financial markers, the city has an opportunity to share in that growth up to $2 million.Leveraging the deal will involve the city applying for a mixed-use tax increment financing, or TIF district, with the state. If approved, Fischer's office said the city will not commit any of its local property tax revenues to that TIF.Louisville City FC first unveiled plans in Continue Reading

Proposed MLS soccer stadium in Queens park elicits concern

A proposal to build a Major League Soccer stadium in Queens’ largest park has sparked an outpouring of support from fans — but also concern from competing business interests. The owners of Mets are wary of the proposed 25,000-seat stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, sources close to the negotiations told the Daily News. The several hundred million dollar facility could compete with Citi Field for concert, event and even international soccer game bookings. The Wilpons, who own the Mets, also have a stake in redeveloping nearby Willets Point. The Queens Development Group, a partnership between Sterling Equities — partly owned by the Wilpons — and Related Cos., declined to comment. “The joint venture believes that it’s not productive to comment on a speculative, hypothetical scenario,” said spokeswoman Cristyne Nicholas. State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) said she was worried about losing roughly 8 acres of park land to make way for the facility. The league has to find comparable park space elsewhere for the deal to be approved. “I want to be sure that any park land that is created as a result of the swap, there are funds available to maintain it,” she said. Sources told The News that the league is considering new park space at the former Flushing Airport in College Point, and also on landfills near LaGuardia Airport and areas near Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The details have yet to be finalized. The project is expected to create roughly 2,000 construction jobs, 200 full-time and 900 part-time jobs, sources said. “It’s just great for the community,” said Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-Jackson Heights), a self-described soccer fanatic and project backer. “It’s always been something that is needed here.” MLS officials said Thursday they are in “exploratory discussions” with the city to build a privately financed Continue Reading

Soccer stadium could be big boost for Butchertown

The much-anticipated decision to build a soccer stadium in Butchertown should produce an economic boom for a historic neighborhood that is already stirring with activity, officials say.The city and the second-division professional soccer club, Louisville City FC, on Wednesday announced the selection of the stadium site — near Cabel and Franklin streets on the north side of Butchertown just off Interstate 64 and near Waterfront Park."Everyone in the area is more than excited to hear that this is the future site; it definitely is an underutilized section of the neighborhood and the city," said Andy Cornelius, former Butchertown Neighborhood Association president. "There traditionally has been industry on that site. It has good connectivity to Waterfront Park, to the interstate and to bike trails. There already are a great number of attractions and restaurants in the area, and the stadium will add to the visibility and the growth that we have seen over the last decade." More: See renderings for new Louisville City FC stadium Background: LouCity stadium will be in Butchertown The announcement "is really huge," said Karen Williams, president and CEO of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Louisville City Football has created great energy for downtown playing at Slugger Field. Soccer has been really on the uprise for the last five to 10 years both here and nationally. Soccer here has a huge base of very loyal fans.   The stadium will bring in fans from around the region — and money. The fans will eat at restaurants before and after games."In addition to the 10,000-seat stadium, the city is setting aside some nearby property — a 40-acre package including the venue site— for the potential development of such support facilities as offices, shops, restaurants and perhaps a hotel.While emphasizing that numerous steps will be necessary before the project reaches fruition, including securing Continue Reading

Nassau spiking effort to plant a soccer stadium in boro

PLANS TO BUILD a soccer stadium in Queens for the city's newest franchise may be running afoul due to lackluster interest from city officials and an aggressive push from Nassau County. Owners of FC New York have said since the team's founding last year that they want to build a 9,000-seat stadium, preferably in Jamaica. But negotiations have stalled after preliminary discussions with the city Parks Department and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall's office, said team President Doug Petersen. And the team is now being courted by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Petersen added. But for FC New York officials, Queens remains the first choice - if only city officials would play ball. "In the last two weeks, we are stepping up our campaign to reach out to people in local governments [in New York City] again to see if there are soccer friends in the political arena who want to help us," said Petersen, who is based in Garden City, L.I. "I think the sport of passion for people in Queens is soccer." Nassau County isn't taking this tackle lying down. "Being able to say that Nassau County is the home of a premier soccer team or whatever the case may be, we want to do it," said Rob Walker, Nassau's chief deputy county executive. Both Walker and Petersen confirmed that they met in January, just after Mangano took office. But city officials have made no such overtures, Petersen said. A Parks Department spokeswoman said agency officials met with Petersen in June 2009, but have had no meetings since. Dan Andrews, a spokesman for Marshall, said no one has visited their office to "make any presentation to build a possible stadium in Queens." Beginning in the 2011 season, FC New York is set to spend its first two seasons playing at Hofstra University before eventually settling into a new stadium. Petersen said he was optimistic that the team's next wave of campaigning to Queens officials and community organizations will "get the people behind us." FC New Continue Reading

Opinion: Support soccer stadium bond and other investments in Louisville, GLI CEO says

One of the biggest takeaways from GLI’s recent GLIDE 2017 trip to Nashville was the concept proactively building “civic furniture.” These are major projects that are an investment in both quality of life and economic growth.Nashville built their Bridgestone Arena a full two years before the Predators became an NHL expansion team and skated into the playoffs. Nissan Stadium was built before the NFL's Titans came to town and the state-of-the-art Music City Convention Center was planned, financed and built through the Great Recession and recovery. It’s a $600+ million investment that has now generated more than $1.4 billion in direct economic impact over the last four years.Greater Louisville must grow its population if we are to maintain our quality of life and improve our economy. Proposed projects like Phase 4 of the Waterfront Park, the Heritage West track and field facility, and the Louisville Botanical Gardens are the kind of investments our city should pursue. More pieces of civic furniture like these will attract and retain talented people. Related coverage ► Meeting set to discuss Louisville City FC stadium on Oct. 26 ► USL President: LouCity stadium will be 'showpiece stadium' ► Louisville City FC breezes through first round of playoffs with win Pro and semi-pro sports are also proven ways to attract and retain talent and generate economic growth. And pro sports require facilities that meet the standards of their leagues. That is why GLI supports the bond measure to buy and lease the land for Louisville City Football Club’s new soccer stadium in Butchertown. It is time to vote.Let’s not allow “what-ifs” and worry to paralyze our city’s progress. Anything but a can-do attitude plays right into the mentality of “Here in Louisville we cannot have nice things because…” That’s a self-limiting Continue Reading

Higher wages for soccer stadium jobs will boost more Louisville families | Scott

Think about the last time you bought a ticket to a game or a concert in Louisville.In many cases, it is fairly common to see African-Americans on the field, on the court or on stage. There is a proud history of black folks working hard to earn spots on teams or in performances.It is also very familiar to see African-Americans serving food, cleaning restrooms and sweeping up trash in our local arenas and stadiums.But it is a less familiar sight to see black families sitting in the stands. Why? Because many working families of color simply cannot afford to go to a game, a concert or a play. Many of us who grew up in Beecher Terrace or other West Louisville neighborhoods know how painful it can be to live within walking distance of a venue or arena but just not have enough extra money in the family budget to buy tickets. USL President: Planned Louisville City FC soccer stadium will be 'showpiece stadium' More on LouCity stadium: Louisville City FC stadium project could generate $13M per year in tax revenue, study says Working-class black and brown families in Louisville are trying hard to get ahead. But because wages are so low in our city’s fast-growing service economy, many find themselves fighting to make ends meet.It is worth thinking about this reality as the Metro Council gets ready to vote on a proposal to spend at least $60 million in city and state tax dollars on a new soccer stadium, hotel, office, retail and restaurant complex.Louisville should use this major public investment to push wages higher so more working families can be part of building a better city.Our city should push the wage floor for new jobs in the stadium district to $15 per hour and prioritize hiring from neighborhoods that are falling behind to help raise up more families in West Louisville. Louisville is changing. We are evolving from an economy rooted in manufacturing into a service and logistics economy. Nearly half of Continue Reading

Louisville City FC has the funding for its soccer stadium. So, what’s next?

Louisville Metro Council approved a deal Thursday to partially fund Louisville City FC's soccer stadium project in the Butchertown neighborhood. The city is on the hook for a $30 million bond, which will mature to $42 million. And the soccer club's owners are required to spend at least $130 million in private capital on the development and will pay back $14.5 million to the city.  Background: Louisville City FC gets money to build its soccer stadium in Butchertown So, what's next?First, an ordinance passed Thursday allows the city to apply to the state for a tax-increment financing district around the proposed development site. The city will submit that TIF application on behalf of the club to the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, which next meets in December.The city expects to reap $12 million from the TIF district over 20 years, according to the development agreement.  Take this poll: Do you agree with the plan to build Louisville City FC's Butchertown soccer stadium? Louisville City FC board member Tim Mulloy said the club hopes to get the TIF approved by May. In the meantime, the city will buy most of the land from four different landowners. It has exclusive rights to do so until Nov. 10. (The club will buy additional land parcels owned by LG&E and the Waterfront Development Corp.) Club owners will work with an architecture firm to finalize the site plan and keep looking for tenants for the development area. "We need to have shovels in the ground by Aug. 1," Mulloy said.  Read this: Soccer club owners 'fall far short' on wage and job standards, labor group says More: LouCity owners pledge $130M to stadium project hours before council vote Some backgroundThe 10,000-seat stadium is planned as part of a $200 million, 40-acre development that also is to include at least one hotel, offices, retail and housing. The site is south of Interstates 64 and 65, north of Continue Reading

PX: Northern Kentucky soccer stadium could help region get over us vs. them

"Regionalism" is a chamber of commerce buzzword, an eye-rolling, pie-in-the-sky idea that Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky come together, sing Kumbaya and get things done for the greater good of Greater Cincinnati.Disparate political interests and big-business egos make it almost impossible to fully achieve "regionalism."But could a soccer stadium on the south bank of the Ohio River actually help Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky get over our petty, us-vs.-them rivalry?No, seriously. It'd be unprecedented for Cincinnati's Carl Lindner III and his mostly Ohio-based ownership group to take their uber-popular soccer franchise across the river and build a $200 million stadium in Northern Kentucky. Businesses on the Ohio side of the river just don't make those kinds of investments over there.After years of Cincinnati generally thumbing its nose at Northern Kentucky like it's a third-world country, it would show that some of the Queen City's most powerful people are willing to check their egos and deliver a big victory to Northern Kentucky – and in turn, to the region.It would motivate thousands of Ohioans to invest their time and cash in Northern Kentucky, something its residents certainly have done in Cincinnati. And the proposed Newport site isn't that long of a walk for fans saying it's too far away from The Banks' watering holes. (Politics Extra walked it. See below).Simply, a NKY stadium could help shrink the Ohio River from an ocean to a creek."We're all Greater Cincinnati," Northern Kentucky Chamber boss Brent Cooper told Politics Extra. "Leaders on both sides of the river are now engaged at a level I’ve never seen before. Little baby steps along the way have gotten us to a place where we’re ready to take some giant leaps."STAKES RAISED: A cutting-edge, soccer-specific stadium perched at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking rivers in Newport could be that giant leap. Newport offers the only shovel-ready plot of Continue Reading