The Cardinal logo and the names of Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn have been added to the facade of the new University of Louisville soccer stadium, two of the last remaining items on the list before construction is complete. Tom Jurich, vice president of athletics, had promised back in 2012 to build the finest college soccer facility in the country and he has delivered.
Another day, another media tour of a new athletic facility at the University of Louisville.
This one the lavish $17 million Dr. Mark & Cindy Lynn Stadium, which is already the premiere college stadium in the United States — a facility so nice that it’s going to become an instant tourist attraction when construction is completed on August 27. Another incredible accomplishment among many for Tom Jurich.
The mammoth video board, which is 49 feet wide and 26 1/2 feet high, was being tested during a media tour of the facility on Tuesday. With a viewing surface of 3,000 square feet, larger than this observer’s house, it is among the largest in the UofL’s growing inventory of video tools.
Equally impressive, however, will be the advertising dash boards (or ribbons) that extend from the centers of the end zones and along the east side of the field. Safe to say, there will be few, if any, college soccer fields with such a dazzling video arsenal. As UofL College Women’s Soccer Coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes noted during the press conference, it will definitely be a distraction for visiting teams this fall.
If you thought the winter of 2013-14 was tough, consider the challenges for the Abel Construction workers in completing the new Dr. Mark & Cindy Lynn Soccer Stadium at the University of Louisville.
All the snow was taking a toll on the construction schedule, pushing the projected opening completion up until around August 29. That just happens to be opening day for both the men’s and women’s teams. Whether they will have time to practice on the new field before their first games is a real question mark.
The men’s team opens the season against Maryland at 8 o’clock that night, following the women’s game against Mississippi at 6 p.m.
But coaches Ken Lolla and Karen Ferguson-Days are ecstatic as they anticipate the new stadium and their first seasons in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
“My heart always beats a little faster when I drive past the stadium,” said Lolla. “It’s going to be the best collegiate soccer stadium in all America.”
Both coaches say the new stadium and conference affiliation are creating a national buzz about UofL soccer, including a boost in recruiting. “It’s an amazing situation for Louisville soccer,” says Lolla.
The men will host ACC foes Duke, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Clemson, along with Indiana and Ohio State. The women host Syracuse, NC State, Boston College, Virginia and Virginia Tech, along with Kentucky and Mississippi.
Construction of the new $18.5 million Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Soccer Stadium on Floyd Street appears to moving along right on schedule with the signature roof being added over the home side of the facility. When complete this summer, the complex will include a 15,500-square-foot training center and seating capacity for 5,300 fans.
The soccer stadium, which is the second-largest on-campus facility project UofL has built behind Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, will be ready for the opening of the Cardinals’ first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference in September. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Tom Jurich admires the framed soccer jerseys given to Mark and Cindy Lynn by soccer coaches Ken Lolla and Karen Ferguson-Dayes.
The Taj Mahal of college soccer stadiums is coming your way, Louisville.
Thanks to some incredible generosity from Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn, providing a game-changing donation of $5 million from their personal resources to break ground on a $17.5 million, state-of-the-art stadium at the intersection of Floyd and Byrne streets.
“The gift came from the bottom of the hearts of two individuals,” said Tom Jurich, vice president of athltics. “This is not a corporate gift. This is one of the top individual gifts we’ve ever gotten in this athletic department and probably for many years to come.
“These soccer teams are going to have the most unbelievable home you could ever have. It’s another cog in beautifying Floyd Street, which is becoming a national story.”
All but about $3 million of money needed has been raised in a fundraising effort, headed by Tom’s son, Mark Jurich, associate athletic director for development at UofL.
“This is going to be the one of the largest stand-alone facilities in the country and is really going to elevate us and take us to a whole new level,” said Mark. “The footprint will be great and will be very visible, located off of I-65, providing over 77 million impressions each year.”
The new stadium will have a minimum seating capacity of more than 5,300 and includes a 15,500 square-foot training facility with locker rooms both both men’s and women’s teams, offices, a training room, a suite and press box facilities.
Ground has already been cleared for much of the property, except for a parking lot. The official groundbreaking will be in June and the stadium should be ready for the start of the 2014 season when UofL joins the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Dr. Lynn, a native of Owensboro, is the owner of Dr. Bizer’s VisionWorld and a former member of the UofL Board of Trustees. He served for a year before stepping down in 2011 when his son Mark J. Lynn was named assistant director of the UofL Cardinal Marching Band in 2011. The Lynns are season ticket holder for both Cardinal basketball and football, with suites at both the KFC Yum! Center and Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
“We are fortunate and lucky to even be a part of this,” said Dr. Lynn. “It’s more for us than a soccer stadium and athletics. We are lovers of the university. It is where all my kids have gone. This is where my home, my business, my life is. The better the university does, the better we all do. We’re fortunate to have the ability to give back to give back to the community. Thank you for letting us be a part of it.”
The stadium is designed by Wayne Estopinal, of the Estopinal Group in Louisville, with a staff of design professionals described by the Jurich’s as soccer fanatics “who poured their hearts and souls into this project.”
Soccer Coach Ken Lolla thanked Mark Jurich and his staff for their effort in making the best college soccer stadium in America possible. “We will attract the best student athletes and some of the best competition because everybody will want to be a part of it. There’s already a great awareness across the country, and it will greatly benefit the youth soccer movement around the country.”