Wow factors all in place for expanded Cardinal Stadium

Cindy Rice Shelton photos  No one could have imagined how grand the $63 million addition would be to the north end of Cardinal Stadium. The end result is nothing short of spectacular — a striking tribute to what has occurred at the University of Louisville over the past two decades and a monumental commitment to the school’s football program.

Vince Tyra is placing a heavy emphasis on a positive fan experience in his role as UofL Athletic Directory (Cindy Rice Shelton photos).

One could only marvel at all the changes that will be on display Saturday for UofL’s opening game against Indiana State. Approximately 5,400 new seats have been added, raising the stadium’s seating capacity to more than 60,000. Three mammoth new video boards have been installed, including two in the north end  zone and still another on the other end.

New, larger ribbon video bands have replaced existing bands throughout the stadium. The newly enclosed facility is also going to be louder than ever and vibrant, with the possibility of some unprecedented lighting effects. The upper level of the north end features the Adidas logo, in gray stripes among the predominant red seats.

Athletic Director Vince Tyra says the school is going all out to enhance the fan experience this season, having lowered prices on numerous concession items and offering specials to get fans into the stadium for kickoff. That includes opening the parking lots two hours earlier for tailgating, and opening the stadium gates 30 minutes earlier. And for the beer lovers, those  arriving early can purchase a draft beer for $2 on the Norton Terrace and $3 on the concourses throughout the stadium two hours before kickoff.

At long last, 20 years after the opening of Cardinal Stadium, a genuine tunnel for University of Louisville football players.