Disappointing that Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium will be expanded to 56,000 seats instead of 63,000. But when additional expansion is required, the process of adding at least 10,000 more seats should be relatively easy.
Still, one can’t ignore or forgive the inexcusable delay in the project caused by the inaction of state legislators in Frankfort who should have approved the project a year ago. Nothing has changed during the period except the fact that the delay cost the University of Louisville an additional $10 million in construction costs.
Larry Clark knows the math but did nothing about it during the 2007 session of the Kentucky General Assembly. The majority leader of the House Democrats, Clark is by trade an electrician but is the former business manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 369. Clark has worked around such projects for most his adult life and knew the consequences of inaction.
Clark ignored pleas from Ron Crimm and other local legislators to press for what would have amounted to a simple voice vote during the special session last year. Clark refused to use his influence, providing no reasons, ignoring e-mails, letters and calls from his constituents. The expansion would not have cost one dime in state money, but the pleas fell on deaf ears.
This was the same Larry Clark who chose to jeopardize the new downtown basketball arena, demanding that the arena be located at the Louisville Water Company site instead of the location selected by the Louisville Arena Authority. Were it not for Senate Leader David Williams’ persistence in demanding that the legislation not be site-specific, the project would still be just another arena proposal.
Clark is one of those legislators who forgets who he represents when he goes to Frankfort. Give him a little power and he uses it for all the wrong reasons. The kind of guy who will derive pleasure from seeing a smaller stadium because he did exactly the opposite of what he should have done.
The really sad thing about all this is that Clark at one point was a member of the U of L Board of Overseers. Clark never belonged there, and he certainly shouldn’t be representing any part of Louisville in Frankfort.