LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville City FC’s new training facility is commonly referred to an asset to the organization, but a more appropriate description might be a tool.
“Our goal is to grow the game in and around this community, and this facility is going to allow us to do that,” Soccer Holdings President Brad Estes said.
Just how it will help things grow is different, though, depending on who you ask.
“It becomes very much like a European club model, is what it is,” Louisville City head coach John Hackworth said. “Having that all in one place, in a centralized location, is something that not many clubs in this country, regardless of what level you’re at, can make that claim.”
Plans for the facility include four turf and three natural grass fields, as well as a more than 30,000-square-foot indoor facility, that includes a dining area and gym.
“It all comes back to the success of the men’s team,” Estes said. “We wouldn’t be sitting here talking about this today if we didn’t have an unbelievably successful men’s team, which really helped to develop a fan base and get the city on board with what we’re doing.”
The facility, which features both men’s and women’s locker rooms, can also help to level the playing field among athletes as Louisville prepares to welcome a women’s team in 2021.
“Everything is equal,” Estes said. “We want to provide the same access to everybody. We look at them as athletes.”
Access is another advantage to growing Lou City’s youth program. Its centralized location makes it easier for kids all over the city to get to. It also means direct contact with the professional players.
“Even if (the kids are) not training with our first team, to go out there and watch, and for these young girls to watch the women play, to me, it’s a game-changer,” Youth Academy Director Mario Sanchez said.
Estes also pointed out that the facility’s turf fields can host other sports like lacrosse and football, making it even more valuable to the entire community.
Construction of the facility is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2021.
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