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October 25, 2017 9:11am

Support Soccer & Pro-Sports in Greater Louisville

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 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. Investing in their city’s amenities through thick and thin, despite the handwringers, has resulted in a booming and ‘well furnished’ Nashville today.   Now it is our turn.

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 & 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.

Pro and semipro 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 lack of swagger. We can be proud of what we have and confident in what more we can build here. This community has to take risks if we are going to grow in an increasingly competitive world.  Self-confidence and a good plan were critical to Nashville’s success. Sitting on our hands and checkbooks will not grow Greater Louisville.

In the interest of attracting and retaining talented individuals and increasing the vitality of our community GLI, the Metro Chamber of Commerce, will actively support the approval of the proposed bond ordinance before the Louisville Metro Council on October 26th.  In addition, GLI supports development and commercialization in the proposed ‘stadium district’ with safeguards to ensure taxpayers have exit opportunities and backstops built into the arrangement for the city to recoup its expenses should the stadium plan not move forward.

The soccer district project is an important step toward revitalization of a neglected area of our city and it will attract new people, businesses, and investment.  We encourage members of the Metro Council to take this easy shot on goal and score a win for our city’s future.

Contact your Metro Council Member to support the stadium.