Lynn Family Stadium - Louisville City FC
Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00
Lynn Family Stadium 350 Adams St Lousiville, KY 40206
Year Opened: 2020 Capacity: 11,700
Louisville's Home for Soccer
Lynn Family Stadium opened in 2020 as the home for Louisville City FC of the United Soccer League Championship. The 11,700-seat stadium was designed by HOK for $65 million and can expand to 15,304 spectators. The venue is one of a handful of soccer-specific venues in the league and provides fans with an up-close and personal view of the action on the field.
Before the opening of the new venue, the club operated a few miles down the road at Louisville Slugger Field, dubbed Slugger Field for soccer matches. The Triple-A ballpark is intended for the Louisville Bats minor league club, and the club averaged close to 8,000 fans per game; it was the objective to build its venue and avoid certain situations during the playoffs.
The stadium features seating on all three sides of the pitch, with the open end facing the interstate and the Ohio River. A 40-by-72.5-foot video board greets motorists from the outside and fans on the inside. When the sunset for evening games, the beautiful red hues sparkled up above as the sunset in the west.
Louisville fans have been lucky since the club established a winning tradition from day one. The club advanced to two conference finals in its first two seasons and then hosted the next three USL Championship Finals. The team was displaced for the past two years due to the Festival of Trees and Lights taking place at the ballpark. Lou City opted for the University of Louisville soccer field, which sat about half the amount of people. Those days are now over if the club does indeed continue its winning ways.
Before opening their 2020 season, the play was suspended due to COVID-19, and the aspect of playing before 11,000-plus fans was voided. When play resumed later that year, attendance was capped and social distancing measures were enforced during matches. Still, as the season progressed and the Boys in Purple captured their division crown, it was almost business as usual at the stadium.
“Having 4,850 fans at our games since the USL restart has us eager to hear just how much louder it can get once we can reach above about 30% capacity,” Senior Director, PR, & Communications, Jonathan Linter stated. “Even with limited numbers, the supporters have been loud. It doesn’t have the feel of an empty stadium by any means.”
Food & Beverage 4
There are plenty of options to choose from during the match including basic sports food choices and plenty of bourbon and beer from the various kiosks throughout the concourse. The pricing is reasonable. There isn’t one particular item that is over the top, like what you find at a minor league ballpark, but the food is hot and fresh.
The Hometown Pizza stands offer slices of cheese and pepperoni pizza for $7 and whole pies for $35. The aroma alone may earn a point, and plenty of fans line up to purchase a slice or two, along with a drink. The Butchertown BBQ stand on the east side of the stadium is another tempting find. The pulled pork and sliced brisket sandwiches cost $10 and $12, respectively.
Visitors will also find hot dogs, brats, nachos, fried chicken sandwiches, chicken tender baskets, burgers, fries, pretzels, and Caesar salads at the Shelbygrille Stand. The Frankfurt Franks kiosk near the south end sells a Korean cheesesteak with aioli and sticky sauce to give it a different flavor for $10. The Kroger Marketplace menu has vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.
There are plenty of bars that spread out along the concourse serving bourbons from Maker’s Mark, Four Roses, and Cooper’s Craft–each brand also creates its signature cocktail. The highlight is the Modelo Scoreboard Bar on the south end of the stadium.
The 72-foot Modelo bar is located under the video board and features several tables where people can stand around. For pregame festivities in the future, we’re excited about the adjoining 1020 beer garden. Fans can purchase Fall City Beer, Yuengling, and Miller are among the brews to choose from while you watch the action.
“All our concessions are open and operating under some new safety protocols due to COVID-19. That includes marked spots to stand in line promoting distancing, plexiglass barriers between cashiers and customers at points of sale, and cashless operations to limit touchpoints. All concessions are individually packaged,” added Linter.
Despite the capacity limit, there were 4,900 fans at the game, the atmosphere was electric during the match. The Coopers, the official supporter group of Lou City, made its presence with drums, costumes, banners, and plenty of purple smoke, and on the opposite side of the stadium, a few more fans let off some smoke of their own after the two goals scored on the night. The stadium lights flash vividly before and after the game, and also when a goal is scored by the home team.
Outside the gates of the north end and the Modelo Scoreboard Bar is where pregame festivities will take place once the sports world is back to normal. The area includes a miniature-sized soccer pitch and a giant “LOU CITY” sculpture where fans can pose for photos in place of the missing “I”.
The roof of the seating area is colored and shaped like the sides of a bourbon barrel. The lights are slanted and can be adjusted for color, depending on the match. The concourse aisles are somewhat narrow, its walls decorated with Lou City art and players’ photos on the west side of the stadium. The opposite side is much more open and features a small table of merchandise. Also embedded inside the stadium are 18 luxury boxes and 250 Premier Club seats.
The gift shop has that brand-new smell and plenty of team merchandise from official jerseys, scarves, caps, t-shirts, and women's and children's gear. Racing Louisville also has a section of shirts that feature the club’s colors of deep purple and mint green. Several TV monitors are on display, and so are the team’s USL Championship trophies from 2017 and 2018.
The stadium is located in the Butchertown section of town and within walking distance from the main plaza and Copper & Kings American Brandy Company. The up-and-coming neighborhood has renovated many of its meatpacking warehouses into shops, bars, and restaurants and provides an ideal spot before or after a match.
However, less than a mile away from the stadium is the affluent East Market District, also known as NuLu. You will find everything from vintage clothing stores, gourmet eateries, and restored furniture shops. A few recommendations would include La Bodeguita for Cuban cuisine, Royals Hot Chicken, Grind Burger Kitchen, and Feast BBQ for a bite to eat.
A few spots for a drink include the Old 502 Winery, Akasha Brewing Company, and the West Sixth NuLu which offers live music tucked away off the main street and surrounded by other shops and balcony seating. The Louisville Beer Store offers bottle service and drafts, but sadly they are closing by the end of October 2020. The Rabbit Hole Distillery and Garage Bar are other recommendations, but they were temporarily closed during our visit.
The Lou City crowd is one of the more boisterous in the league. There are two supporter group sections at both ends of the pitch. The Coopers, Ledgehogs, LouCity Ladies, and The Sheep’s Pens make their presence felt by chanting, flag waving, and drum playing. During a goal, purple smoke is released into the air to celebrate the score. The team has averaged over 10,000 fans per game this season and ranks number 2 in the league in this category.
Lynn Family Stadium is located off of I-64 and is easily visible to motorists on the interstate. There are four lots for parking and must be pre-paid for $10. There is additional parking, when available, along the Louisville Waterfront Park and west of the stadium on Witherspoon Street.
Return on Investment 3
The price of a ticket for a soccer match costs as low as $17 and costs as high as $44. There are four surface parking lots (Purple, Green, Gold, and Gray) that are pre-paid on the east, west, and south sides of the stadium. Additional parking is available along the Louisville Waterfront Park and west of the stadium on Witherspoon.
The price of food will include certain items such as cheeseburgers and chicken tender baskets fetching $11.99 and beer prices ranging from a 20-ounce domestic for $9.99 to a 24-ounce premium for $12.99. The best option is the loaded BBQ nachos served in a plastic soccer bowl for $11.99. It is big enough to feed two children.
Louisville City's stadium earns points for the pre-game festivities in the kid's zone that features a small soccer field and entertainment. The stadium earns another point for the variety of food and drink options from local favorites to old standards. The third point is for the design of the soccer-specific venue that is among the classiest in the league. A final point is awarded to the sunset view of the city's skyline at evening games.
Lynn Family Stadium is a wonderful addition to the league and a harbinger for the future of soccer-specific venues in the country. The bright and bold venue is what soccer stadiums should look like and what they could be to both team and fan. Lou City fans have been spoiled with the success on the pitch from their club and now they have an excellent venue to enjoy for many years to come.