Vision. Imagination. Confidence.
These are unquestioned characteristics of members of the Papa John’s Stadium Expansion Committee, each successful in many separate endeavors. They want the University of Louisville athletic program to think big, exceed expectations. They are not dreamers, they are realists. When they decide to do something, they expect it to happen.
The committee includes many of the same folks behind the transformation occurring in downtown Louisville. Name it, and one or more individuals on this committee has been involved — the new U of L Basketball Arena, Museum Plaza, Fourth Street Live , all the new condominiums, offices and construction on Main Street, the new hotels, the Louisville Bats and Slugger Field. Too numerous to list all of them.
So it was significant when the committee voted unanimously in support of Tom Jurich’s recommendation to approve the stadium design, which will raise stadium seating capacity to 63,000. Now comes the next step, putting their personal and corporate clout and energies behind the project. They know you can’t be deterred by temporary setbacks, that you have to look beyond those, and do what is necessary to ensure that success is inevitable.
The project still needs the approval of U of L Athletic Committee and the U of L Board of Trustees, not to mention the go-ahead of the Kentucky General Assembly. It’s not a freight train yet, but the wheels are turning.
A salute to committee members: Larry Benz, Jonathan Blue, Mike Brown, Kevin Covan, Mike Curtain, Larry Hayes, Bob Koetter, Jr., Chris Sternberg, Jim Patterson II, Bruce Perkins, Steve Poe, Sam Rechter, Dan Ulmer and Will Wolford. They deserve the red carpet treatment when the expanded stadium becomes a reality in 2010.