Cardinal Stadium going to be lavish, and louder than ever

Athletic Director Vince Tyra welcomes media reps to a preview of the expanded Cardinal Stadium (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

The “wow factor” is going to be very much in evidence in the end zone expansion of Cardinal Stadium, exceeding expectations in every respect from conception to reality. The final product is going to transform the image of University of Louisville football and where it wants to go.

Vince Tyra and Bobby Petrino, clad in safety gear, discuss the advantages of the greatly expanded football complex (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

There was Vince Tyra standing on the 20-yard line Tuesday, the man who succeeded the conceptualist Tom Jurich as UofL Athletic Director. Talking about how great the 6,000-plus-seat addition is going to be for the first home game in September. 

He said the fan experience for ticket holders in the expansion is going to be exceptional, with great views of the action on the field. And it’s going to provide Coach Bobby Petrino with some new recruiting tools in a facility that is player focused, with awesome training facilities, along with medical offices and leisure time activities.

Ultra deluxe lockers for UofL football players (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

“It’s also going to be very loud with the stadium enclosed for the first time,” said Tyra. “I’m going to be as excited as anybody to hear the noise. We get pretty rowdy in here for some of the big games. The sound is going to go up another level.”

Still quite a bit of finishing work to be done before the team moves into the new facility at end of July but Tyra is confident the job will be done on time and on budget.

A couple of surprises unveiled during the preview, including the fact that the end zone expansion actually includes parking access for fans in some of the premium boxes. Also, the new structure is actually tied to the existing stands on the east and west sides by extensions that include seating for about 30 people on each side of the stadium.

“It’s going to be incredible,” said Petrino, who can’t wait to get moved in in July , saying the expansion included everything he could possibly have wanted for his football program.

Author: Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.