Orlando City Soccer Club coach: 'Louisville could certainly be MLS'

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Louisville Metro Councilman Dan Johnson says he knows the perfect spot to build a professional soccer stadium.

“It's great to have great dreams and that’s what this community is doing is dreaming big,” said executive director of the Louisville Sports Commission, Karl Schmitt.

Since Louisville FC’s wildly successful inaugural season, there has been a strong push to build a stadium specifically for the soccer team.

“You have to have a good solid base,” Schmitt said. “Eventually you're going to need a stadium and you have to have a strong ownership group.”

In it's first season, Lou City averaged just shy of 7,000 fans per game. That was the second most in the team's league, the USL.

“Louisville City did a terrific job last year of demonstrating to the people who run the leagues that there is a high demand for quality soccer in this community,” Schmitt said.

In January, the city commissioned a study to find out where the best location for a stadium would be. It’s expected to be completed later this Spring.

Dan Johnson says the best location would be at Champion’s Park near Zorn Avenue and I-71.

“When we see stadiums built these days, the league managers want that walk ability,” Schmitt said. “They want people to be able to walk to attractions and restaurants.”

Schmitt says if a stadium will help Louisville City land a major league franchise, then he's all for it.

For him, all the other ingredients are there.

“Certainly pro sports can add to that and particularly major league sports,” Schmitt said. “We have Churchill Downs of course but probably the most logical sport to get there is soccer.”

Johnson’s ordinance is expected to be discussed in committee on Thursday. 

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