Time to move the partying elsewhere.
While Tuesday’s celebration of the University of Louisville’s Final Four appearance was a fun event, the fan following has outgrown the 4th Street Live venue.
No doubt the improvements there have been good for downtown Louisville, attracting conventioneers and residents to restaurants and bars. Providing much-needed revenues and tax receipts for the area. We all remember how dead the location was a decade ago.
As a public gathering place for a community celebration, however, Fourth Street Live is much too small. Compressing a crowd of 3,000 to 5,000 inside the atrium is pushing the limit. Viewing spaces on the second floor were limited, and access and egress were next to non-existent.
There were a few instances where the close quarters and a few over eager fans could have quickly evolved into major incidents. This observer’s wife was frightened at one point, with the naive and inconsiderate jockeying for better viewing positions. “I was really scared for a couple of minutes there,” she said.
Mayor Greg Fischer, like his predecessor Jerry Abramson, will take every opportunity to show off the area but it’s beginning to show some signs of wear. Much better things are happening closer to the river, like Main Street.
The KFC! Yum Center would have been the ideal location. There’s much more space in front of the facility, the city’s most remarkable accomplishment in decades. So much space available on the pavilion and on Main Street to provide a grand venue for a Final Four salute.
Do it right. Bring them together for the next big one, hopefully with even more significant hardware.