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Louisville Slugger Field

Louisville, KY

Home of the Louisville City FC

4.0

N/A

Louisville Slugger Field (map it)
401 E Main St
Louisville, KY 40202


Louisville City FC website

Louisville Slugger Field website

Year Opened: 2000

Capacity: 8,000

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Louisville is Becoming a Soccer City

In 2015 the United Soccer League (USL) expanded into Louisville, Kentucky with the creation of Louisville City FC. The team’s home would be Louisville Slugger Field, home to the Triple-A baseball Louisville Bats of the International League.

The baseball field might be an odd home for a soccer club, but the pitcher's mound is lowered and synthetic turf is embedded into the dirt base paths to create the soccer pitch for both the players and fans. There are other corners of the warning track that also get the synthetic turf treatment. The capacity for the stadium is 13,131, but it is only 8,000 for soccer due to obstructed view of the soccer pitch.

This may not seem like one of the most ideal places to watch a soccer game, but the crowd, atmosphere and concession area makes for one of the better facilities to watch a match. Once you are transported by the crowd, you will forget that you are at a baseball ballpark.

4.0

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    4

All of the great ballpark menu items you would find at a Louisville Bats game are at the soccer game. These include the very tasty Philadelphia cheesesteak nachos, fried bologna sandwich, and grilled sausages with peppers and onions. There is also the Landshark Hut that offers pork chop sandwiches, ribeye steak sandwiches, roasted corn on the cob, and kettle chips.

However, there are some differences on the menu board that feature the colors of purple and gold of LCFC. You will find at the Grand Slam Grill burger platters ($8), turkey burgers ($5.50), foot long corn dogs ($4.75), BBQ ribs ($5), and fried pork filet sandwiches ($5.75). If your taste buds are looking for something a bit fancier, try the basil pesto panini, reuben, BLT, or grilled cheese on Texas toast.

Papa John's is available and a cost of domestic draft beer is only $6.25.

There are also a few delights for the sweet tooth such as snow cones, funnel cakes, and Blue Bell Ice Cream is available at certain stands.

Atmosphere    4

The atmosphere changes drastically from a minor league baseball stadium to a soccer field. The LCFC supporters have transformed the diamond into a pitch that is lively, entertaining, and soccer savvy. There are several sections to watch the game and enjoy your experience. The Preston Street goal (Sections 121-123) is where the club's official support club "The Coopers" take their stance during the match. They cheer, chant, yell, scream, and sing for 90 minutes. This section is packed with supporters who wave flags and set off purple smoke after every goal scored.

Down the first base side of the stadium is a little less subdued, but there are strong soccer supporters. This area might be better for families of small children, but even here the fans make sure they express their feelings towards the players on the pitch. This section is not as full, but with each and every game, the area becomes a little bit denser with fans.

The most interesting spot to watch a game and one that exists due to the configurations of the baseball field, is behind the centerfield walls. The overlook patio features standing room only and picnic tables from behind the north end goal. Here is where you get a high rise view of the entire stadium, plus a magnificent view of the city's skyline. In this area, the fans are less rambunctious, but that could change in the future.

The official merchandise stand is several long tables and displays behind home plate. The Louisville Bats official team shop is closed during games, and the area is jam packed with fans waiting in line to pick up official team merchandise from shirts, jerseys, scarves, hoodies, and hats. In fact, many items were sold out during our visit to the stadium in June, 2015.

Neighborhood    5

Louisville Slugger Field is located in downtown Louisville near many of the city's bars, restaurants, and tourists sports. Against the Grain is a barbecue and brewery located in the stadium, where many take in a few pints before and after the game. They also provide outdoor seating and offer a few games of cornhole and giant size games of Connect Four. Another bonus is the smell of smoke from the restaurant.

A few blocks away is the Troll Pub that serves typical pub fare, but in a dungeon-like atmosphere where you can also take a picture with the ceramic troll. This is where the Coopers meet before and after each contest. Adjacent to the Troll Bar is the Sidebar, where bourbon and bourbon-inspired cocktails are in fashion.

A few steps down the street are two local favorites for pizza and Southern cooking: Impellizzeri's Pizza and Doc Crow's. A short walk away from the area are multiple museums that range from the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Louisville Slugger Museum, Kentucky Science Center, and the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft.

A great venue to check out about a mile and half from the stadium is the Garage Bar. It is an outdoor bar and restaurant that offers artisan pizza and hand crafted meats, cornhole, ping pong, and Astroturf seating. You will also find City fans here enjoying a couple of drinks right after the game. It is a great location for both young and old supporters.

Fans    5

LCFC is lucky to have a strong supporter group as the Coopers. They begin each game by marching from the Trolley Bar three blocks west of the stadium and making their way to their section before the game. The Coopers chant, yell, and play instruments as they make their way to the Preston Street goal line seats. Then the group sings their rendition of My Old Kentucky Home before the start of the match. During the match, the group cheers, waves flags and banners, and lets the opposing goalkeeper know what they think after every goal kick.

The other fans are just as dedicated as the Coopers, although perhaps less boisterous. The focus is on the game action and frustration takes place when their side does not get the easy goal or the call from the referee. The social aspect that takes place at minor league ballparks takes second place to the action on the field.

Access    4

Louisville Slugger field is easy accessible from both I-64 and I-65; the stadium is easily recognizable from the interstate. There is street parking and various lots around the building, but the street parking fills up rather quickly. There are several lots next to the stadium near the main entrance that charge $6 a car; a rather reasonable price for nearby parking.

Return on Investment    3

The majority of tickets are $15 for LCFC matches; customers can easily move around the stadium to view the game from different vantage points. This is a reasonable price point for tickets to a professional soccer game at a wonderful sports venue.

Extras    3

An extra point for flawlessly turning a baseball stadium into reputable soccer pitch. I am not sure what the city has planned for the team in terms of a future soccer-specific stadium, but this is a suitable place for soccer for the time being. It's a great soccer atmosphere.

Another extra point for the Coopers supporters. They are the real deal. Their march to the stadium before the game is a big part of the experience. Don't miss it.

One final extra point for the inexpensive parking outside of the stadium.

Final Thoughts

I did not know what to expect from attending an LCFC game. Indianapolis has gone soccer mad with their home club the Indy Eleven, and apparently so has the city of Louisville. The fan support, level of excitement, and atmosphere is blossoming with each game played. Having the team play in a minor league ballpark gives the club a sleek professional feel that is sometimes hard to match at other USL and NASL home stadiums. The future looks bright for LCFC.

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Local Food & Drink

Against the Grain  (map it!)

401 E Main St

Louisville, KY 40202

(502) 515-0174

http://www.atgbrewery.com/

Troll Pub Under the Bridge  (map it!)

150 W Washington St

Louisville, KY 40202

(502) 618-4829

http://www.trollpub.com/

Sidebar at Whiskey Row  (map it!)

129 S 2nd St

Louisville, KY 40202

(502) 384-1600

http://www.sidebarwhiskeyrow.com/

Impellizzeri's Pizza  (map it!)

110 W Main St

Louisville, KY 40202

(502) 589-4900

http://impellizzeris.com/new/

Doc Crow's Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar  (map it!)

127 W Main St

Louisville, KY 40207

(502) 587-1626

http://doccrows.com/

Garage Bar  (map it!)

700 E Market St

Louisville, KY 40202

(502) 749-7100

http://www.garageonmarket.com/

Local Entertainment

Evan Williams Bourbon Experience  (map it!)

528 W Main St

Louisville, KY 40202

(502) 584-2114

http://evanwilliamsbourbonexperience.com/visit.php?page=bourbon-experience

Louisville Slugger Museum  (map it!)

800 W Main St

Louisville, KY 40202

(877) 775-8443

http://www.sluggermuseum.com/

Kentucky Science Center  (map it!)

727 W Main St

Louisville, KY 40202

(502) 561-6100

http://kysciencecenter.org/

Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft  (map it!)

715 W Main St

Louisville, KY 40202

(502) 589-0102

http://www.kmacmuseum.org/

Lodging

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