Should be getting the word very soon on the expansion of Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium from 42,000 to 63,000 seats, according to Business First of Louisville. The University of Louisville is expected to announce construction schedules during a reception today for Minority Business Enterprise and Women Business Enterprise-certified organizations interested in participating in the project.

Gonna happen, naysayers, stick your heads back in the sand.

ul_cardinal_head_logo2 Some concerns about the future of the downtown basketball arena project remain, with major bond insurers having been hard hit by the sub-prime loan lending crisis. The Museum Plaza project has been indefinitely postponed as the developers await lower interest loans. Metro Council President Jim King, a banker, has said there’s a big difference between the stalled Museum Plaza project and the Louisville Arena — the Arena has plenty of time to get its financing together and it has significant state and local guarantees.

Maybe so, maybe not. The expected timeline for obtaining bond insurance keeps getting extended. The best news is that Jim Host, who has already navigated this project through some major hurdles, is determined to make it happen.

Take good care of yourself, Big Jim.

ul_cardinal_head_logo2 About 15 years ago, Joe Elliott, then the evening talk show host at WHAS [yes, the station that sold out to UK] pronounced the U of L football stadium project dead. That was before Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation (a former employer) pledged $3 million for the club and Papa John’s Pizza pledged $5 million for naming rights.

I enjoyed calling Elliott the evenings before opening games for several years to tell him we would be on our way out to the stadium. The message was to never doubt the determination of the University of Louisville, the administration and fans.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.