U of L looks at expanding stadium - WDRB 41 Louisville News

U of L looks at expanding stadium

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The RFP calls for the north end of the stadium to be closed in The RFP calls for the north end of the stadium to be closed in

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The University of Louisville is putting out feelers for a possible expansion to its football stadium.

The athletic department says it wants to close the gap you now see in the north end of Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, and add more seats. But first it needs to find out if it's even plausible.

With the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP), the University of Louisville took the first step in expanding the stadium.

The RFP asks that proposals show the feasibility of the project, but also include price points and financing models.

The athletic department declined to comment, but at a Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, athletic director Tom Jurich said at this point they're just trying to find out if an expansion is even possible.

"We're looking at if it's possible, if it makes sense, and what would be the best look of it and how we would do it," said Jurich.

University president, Dr. James Ramsey, told WDRB that with the growth of the Louisville football program, an expansion is only natural.

"We've had phenomenal growth in our entire athletic program but [especially] football," said Ramsey. "So we always have to be thinking about -- as they say -- skating to where the puck is going to be, not where it is today."

He also points out what a huge money-maker football is for the school.

"Football is a big driver as far as the TV market, the upcoming bowl championship series, and the playoffs," he said. "I think it is just something we've got to do to continue to build and get better."

Plus, with the teams switch to the ACC, the school will have to accommodate the leagues large fan base and popularity.

"We're playing the very top competition," said Ramsey. "Think about a Friday night or Saturday afternoon game in Florida State or Miami or any of the outstanding schools, and think about the demand for ticket and fan support and that's why we need to go through with this process."

Although its only the first step, Ramsey said this is just one way they're looking to grow the University in all aspects. Ultimately, he said, its about making Louisville one of the top universities in the country.

All proposals are due by December 1, 2013.

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