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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville is getting another professional football team. The Kentucky Xtreme of the Continental Indoor Football Association begins play in Freedom Hall in February.
It's the latest move in the effort to revive the historic arena.
The state Fair Board is trying to put to rest the idea that Freedom Hall is dead or dying since the Cardinals moved downtown.
"Kentucky Xtreme football is a great fit in Freedom Hall," said Fair Board Director of Sales Dave Patrone.
The announcement of the new football franchise means more than just a new option for Louisville sports fans.
It's part of the continuing effort to breathe life into Freedom Hall following the departure of Cardinal basketball in 2010.
"Not only does it fill dates in Freedom Hall but it brings the awareness back to the public that Freedom Hall is alive, it is well," said Linda Edwards, the Fair Board's Vice President for Sales and Marketing.
After 2010, event dates and revenue from Freedom Hall fell. But it is slowly recovering.
Since the Fair Board no longer manages the KFC YUM Center, its sales staff is focusing even more attention on filling Freedom Hall and Broadbent Arena.
The plan is to attract events that can't afford the YUM's Center's more expensive rental fee.
"We're not trying to pull business from the YUM Center, we're just trying to max out the city for economic impact," said Edwards.
For example, the Kentucky Xtreme is paying $10,000 per game to the Fair Board for Freedom Hall -- a fraction of what it might have paid at the KFC YUM Center.
"Freedom Hall is a lot cheaper," said Kentucky Xtreme owner Victor Cole. "It goes back to the operating budget. The lower the cost, the better."
The Louisville Sports Commission continues to generate events for Freedom Hall as well. Most recently, pro lacrosse, BMX and the Division II basketball championships.
"So, this is a great facility," said Karl Schmitt, Executive Director of the Greater Louisville Sports Commission. "It's an integral part of success for all of us in this community that work in sports."
The Kentucky Xtreme hopes to attract 4,000 fans per game. And all the parking and concession revenue goes to the Fair Board.