Papa John's Cardinal Stadium expansion timeline could speed up
The $55 million project will add around 10,000 seats to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Expansion plans for Papa John's Cardinal Stadium could be moving faster than expected.
It's a project that has University of Louisville students like Jocelyn Smith and Alison Kramer excited.
"It's definitely going to draw in more of a crowd," Smith told WDRB News.
"Anything new gets people excited," Kramer explained.
The price tag for the project is $55 million.
University of Louisville officials say they don't want to get started until they've raised more than half of that.
But in just two months of fundraising, they're already getting close with nearly $20 million.
"Our goal was always to have it open for that Notre Dame game of 2019 but I'd like to even move it up quicker than that if we could," U of L Director of Athletics Tom Jurich said about the timeline at a press conference Thursday.
He was also asked if the work could be finished by the 2018 season.
"That would be nice. I think all those would be great ideas,'" Jurich responded. "I don't know what the construction company is going to say, how fast they can do it yet, they haven't really given us an estimate but I would think that would be a great goal to shoot for at least."
The expansion will increase capacity from around 55,000 to 65,000.
We're told some new seats and suites are already going fast.
"I think the one big mistake that I made is already very clear is that we didn't do enough field level suites because they went like that," Jurich said.
Officials also plan to change the fan experience, saying they looked at some professional stadiums to get ideas.
"From a technology standpoint, being able to provide unique amenities like in game seat service, great WiFi connection, different things like that," said Mark Jurich, Senior Associate Athletics Director.
Smith and Kramer say they plan to stay in town after graduation and reap the benefits of these improvements.
"I think it'll be really exciting to see what the stadium looks like," Kramer said.
This will be the second time Papa John's Cardinal Stadium has expanded in the last decade.
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