LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – It’s an interesting partnership, but these are strange times. The Louisville Xtreme Arena Football team wasn’t experiencing any growing pains at Freedom Hall. But on Monday, the team and the KFC Yum! Center announced that they have reached a three-year deal to play its games in the downtown Louisville facility.
The operative word here, judging from a news conference at the arena, is “downtown.” A collection of speakers said the word nearly two dozen times in 30 minutes.
City and team officials hope this is a win-win. The team benefits from additional exposure with the move to a new venue. They even bill their 2021 season, which begins in April, as an “inaugural” season. New arena, new start. And city leaders are hoping that announcement of the move can help build some positive momentum for downtown business.
“It’s like scoring a touchdown for our downtown at a time when cities all over the country are trying to figure out how we’re going to come back from this pandemic,” Louisville mayor Greg Fischer said. “We’re competing with each other, Nashville, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, New York, you name it. So this is a great announcement for our great city of Louisville.”
Eric Granger, ASM General Manager, said: “Downtown Louisville is open for business. Our hospitality community is open for business. Hotels, event venues, restaurants, bars and amusement attractions are ready to greet guests again. We all long for the days of pre-COVID. Today’s announcement shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We need everyone’s support that these games are events, so that we truly can not just get back to where we were before, but truly be better.”
While the Indoor Football League franchise might not be quite a game-changer downtown, it can at least be a conversation changer, giving some good news to an area that needs it.
The club will play eight games in the facility from April 24 to June 31. Attendance will be limited to 25% of capacity, and the arena, as it is for University of Louisville and other events, will be operated under ASM’s VenueShield program, which provides enhanced cleaning services and other protections for spectators.
“We are elated to be playing in the KFC Yum! Center," Louisville Xtreme Football General Manager Victor Cole said. "The KFC Yum! Center will not only give our fans the best possible indoor football experience, but also the safest way to watch games in person with their highly effective VenueShield program."
Season tickets are available now for the team's home games. Individual tickets will go on sale at a later date, pending availability. This season's Louisville Xtreme Football home games include:
April 24, 2021 vs. Massachusetts Pirates
May 22, 2021 vs. Frisco Fighters
May 29, 2021 vs. Sioux Falls Storm
June 12, 2021 vs. Green Bay Blizzard
June 27, 2021 vs. Massachusetts Pirates
July 3, 2021 vs. Spokane Shock
July 10, 2021 vs. Green Bay Blizzard
July 31, 2021 vs. Iowa Barnstormers
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