The 10,000-seat expansion to Cardinal Stadium is  on schedule and under budget, and will be ready for the season opener in 2018 (Cindy Rice Shelton photos).

Still hard to believe for this long time University of Louisville football fan who dared to dream of UofL someday having its own facility while having his view partially obscured by a steel post at the fairgrounds.

But here we are again, back at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium for an update on still another expansion. This one a luxurious state-of-the-art, 10,000-seat addition, which will complete the oval. Raising capacity to 65,000 seats, along with growing expectations for the UofL football program.

Mark Jurich has been responsible for raising funds and overseeing the stadium expansion (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

The construction towers over the north end zone, confirming that the latest addition will be the crown jewel, a striking tribute to college football in Louisville. “The magnitude of it is stunning,” said Tom Jurich, standing in front of the massive combination of wood, concrete and steel framework on Thursday.

The Vice President of Athletics confirmed that the project is on time and under budget and will be complete in time for the home opener in 2018.”I don’t think any college in the country can compete with this as far as the uniqueness of it,” he said.

It’s no secret that Tom has delegated most of the responsibility, including the fundraising and construction, of the stadium expansion to his son Mark Jurich, senior associate athletic director.

The younger Jurich said he is excited for UofL fans who will occupy the end zone expansion. “Our fans are going to be right on top, giving our players an atmosphere unlike anything they’ve experienced before,” he said.

“I’m excited to know they participated in this being built, buying seats, buying tickets to see this,” he said. “It is just the next step the football program and the university are taking together.”

These premium seats will have access to two premier gathering areas; the Pepsi Club, which will provide viewing access to the field, and another premium club, which will be similar to AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys.

All of the concrete work is expected to be complete by this year’s home opener against Clemson on Saturday, Sept. 16th.  Serving notice to the Tigers and the rest of the college football world that the UofL football program intends to be a major player, now and in the future.




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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.

5 thoughts on “Crown jewel for Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium already stunning”
  1. Great article Charlie. When I first started going to Louisville football games in 1971, I never thought at first, that we would have this wonderful stadium. But I never gave up and kept donating. As a forty-one year football season ticket holder, I am so proud of how high our football program has risen and how great our facilities are. And I know that we are not done yet and will continue to grow and improve. Go Cards!

    1. Charlie and I know what you mean. Our first date was to a UofL game at the old Cardinal Stadium, November 1972. Go Cards!

      1. So you remember the Astro Mud and Lee Corso riding into old Cardinal Stadium on an Elephant.

        1. Remember them well, as well as all of those fake punts on fourth downs. Called one on first date with Barbara and John Madeya scooted to the end zone against Memphis.

        2. I truly don’t remember much about that game except that it snowed that night. At least, I had the good sense to wear my all-red pants suit and white boots. High fashion for 1972, even if not exactly football gear. But I remember many subsequent games in that stadium and so sad to see it so dilapidated now. The Fair Board should consider selling those individual seats. Bet there would be lots of buyers.

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