UofL closer to naming rights for Cardinal Stadium

Cardinal Stadium will likely have an expanded name and a new corporate sponsor when the 2020-21 football season rolls around.

Having reached a settlement with John Schnatter over the old stadium naming rights last October, the University of Louisville is free to pursue a new corporate partner.

On Monday UofL’s Purchasing Department issued a Request for Proposal inviting interested parties to submit their bids for working with the University. The proposed target date for a Letter of Intent is the week of March 2:

“The University of Louisville Athletics Department is seeking a driven, innovative, and collaborative partner to help secure Naming Rights for Cardinal Stadium. This partner will conduct a thorough valuation of the project, develop and execute a customized go-to-market strategy grounded in analytics and market-specific data to generate multiple viable candidates, and ultimately identify the best long-term partner for Louisville Athletics.”

While noting that dates are subject to change, the following schedule was included in the RFP:

Jan. 28 — Deadline for written questions.
Feb. 5 — RFP proposals due.
Feb. 10 (week of) — Shortlist announcement.
March 2 (week of) — Letter of Intent.

The invitation states that proposals should include comprehensive valuation of the Naming Rights to Cardinal Stadium, customized brand engagement to elevate the Louisville fan experience, innovative and strategic consulting to push impact beyond the stadium and game day. 

 

Completion of Cardinal Stadium in 2018 will be loud, symbolic

One of the first impressions one had while checking out the expansion of the University of Louisville’s Cardinal Stadium on Tuesday was that Athletic Director Tom Jurich was wise to get the project going a year earlier than anticipated.

By the time the stadium expansion is completed in 2018, much of the controversy surrounding the school administration will have been resolved, with a new President and Board of Trustees firmly committed to returning to the university’s upward trajectory.

The closing in of the football stadium at that time could well symbolize a university that has come full circle overcoming major challenges while pursuing new objectives and milestones.

One got the feeling Tuesday that the closing end of the North end of the stadium is going to enhance the home field advantage (i.e., significantly raising the noise level). It’s going to be very compact, folks, with the new seating capacity of 65,000 fans.

Michael Ortman has the fun job of managing the stadium during another major expansion.

All kinds of activity going on Tuesday at Cardinal Stadium. Even though the spring semester has ended, the parking lots adjacent to the stadium seem to be near capacity. On the south end of the stadium, numerous UofL athletes headed for the Thornton’s Academic Center for Excellence. Some for study (maybe), many for socialization and recreation, and others for the snack bars.

On the third floor of the Brown & Williamson Club, a local organization is setting up for a get-together.  On the fifth floor, Stadium Manager Michael Ortman is meeting with his staff to discuss the challenges of managing the stadium with all the construction occurring during the 2017 football season.

Stadium capacity will have increased by 10,000 seats by the beginning of the 2018 season — to include 1,000 club seats, 70 premium boxes and 12 exclusive field-level suites. Premium seats will access two upscale gathering areas, including Pepsi Club, offering an elevated view of the field, and a lower-level club that will put fans close to the action.

The Schnellenberger Complex will have doubled in size for expanded weight room and conditioning facilities, as well as an enhanced training space with hydrotherapy.

Completion of the project in 2018 could not come at a better time, hopefully with much of the conflict at the university in the past. The stadium expansion reflecting strong support not only for the football program but for a university that serves as the heart and soul of the community.

Fair Board studies selling old Cardinal Stadium seats

Possibly good news for University of Louisville football fans who remember the good old days at Fairgrounds Stadium.

The Kentucky State Fair Board is considering the idea of selling the old chair back seats when the facility is demolished, according to Amanda Storment, chief of staff and vice president of communications.

“A lot of interest has been expressed in the seats, and we are giving it some consideration,” she said.

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