Local soccer enthusiasts hope to bring professional team to area - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Local soccer enthusiasts hope to bring professional team to area

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)---The city of Louisville is known for its sports.

However, there's one in particular that a group of Louisville residents say is missing from the lineup.

"Most of us are really avid soccer fans and we're trying to attract a professional major league team to the city," says soccer enthusiast Neal Turpin.

Neal Turpin and Chris Heading, along with another friend, are pushing the idea locally for a professional team.

"We sorda launched with the start of major league soccer season, so that was back in March," says Chris Heading.

They'd like to see a potential team eventually play at the old Cardinal Stadium.

"When they built Old Cardinal Stadium and Freedom Hall, it was sorda the center of the city. There was sports, tourism, and all kinds of events that went on there. As it's declined, we've seen a decline in the events that are there and I really think it can be revitalized with this multi-purpose stadium," says Chris Heading.

In April, the stadium was closed due to building code violations and potential safety hazards.

The Fair Board recently announced it would hire a consultant to help determine what would become of it.

These two friends say soccer is already a big hit on the University of Louisville's campus.

They believe pro soccer and a new multi-purpose stadium would make an even bigger impact on the area.

"Those games are played on prime-time on ESPN, so in addition to the national exposure, it is the world's game, so it would be a great source of international exposure, a great source of tourism and investment for the region," says Neal Turpin.

They've presented their idea to Metro Council members in August, and recently started a Facebook page to gain support locally. It's called "Make Louisville an MLS expansion city".

With Major League soccer hoping to add four more teams by the year 2020, these local soccer enthusiasts say now is the time to act.

They're hoping Fair Board members, as well as local and state officials, will take notice.  

"They're at the planning stage so I think we're kinda at the right time right now. They're still trying to figure out what to do with that space, so I think this is the best alternative," says Chris Heading.

This upcoming Wednesday, the three men behind this idea are expected to give a presentation to some fair board members.

They also tell us the multi-purpose stadium could be used for games, as well as concerts.

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