Michael Ortman, the new Stadium Manager at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, says several changes have been made at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium to enhance the fan experience during the University of Louisville football team’s first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Ortman, who previously was Director of Operations for the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, for 17 years, succeeded K. C. Scull who retired during the past year after about 15 years in that post. Ortman oversaw all aspects of the Soldier Field operations, including the stadium, the 98 acres of park land, and parking structures. He was also deeply involved in the multi-million-dollar expansion of Soldier Field.

Michael Ortman
Michael Ortman

Among his first duties at PJCS was to complete the installation of a new state-of-art sound system, which he says will rival any sound system found in the National Football League. The sound system required a multi-phase process over two seasons, which he hopes will be completed in time for the opening game against the Miami Hurricanes.

New speakers are currently being installed at the Brown & Williamson Club level and, for the first time this season, he says there will be a number of high quality speakers on the main concourse. “We want fans to be able to keep up with the action when they’re not inside the stadium,” he said.

  • He said the old TV monitors in the concourse, which were 27 inches, are being replaced by 46-inch high definition models. There will be 12 of them. “We are currently awaiting delivery,” said Ortman.
  • There are, of course, new ACC logos on the playing field and throughout the stadium, including an ACC conference flag over the video board.
  • The crew is currently installing new field wrap for advertising at the ground level of the stadium.
  • Ortman said only about 50 seats had to be replaced during the off season.

As for all the fading chair backs, he would only say, “There has been some discussion.”

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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 “New Louisville stadium manager oversees Papa John’s upgrades”
  1. I’d be really nice to not have to kill myself trying to get my wheelchair up the main ramps leading to the stadium. Wheelchair access around the stadium has gone from dismal to slightly below average with the addition of disabled shuttle buses a few years back. I still make it a point to hit the bathroom before the game starts, because I know what condition the seats will be like later. Other stadiums I’ve been to have disabled only bathrooms, so you can have the space you need without having to clean up someone else’s puke and urine of the seat while the cuff of your pants soak the urine from the floor. It’s a shame people have to be such morons, but it will never stop. We need a safe haven from them.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Michael. I have a disabled granddaughter. Hopefully the stadium manager is taking notes and has the ability to ease the situation. Major challenge.

      1. You’re right about it being a challenge. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten in line for the handicapped stall behind an able-bodied person while there are open urinals and/or open regular stalls. Many times this person will piss all over the toilet seat because he doesn’t want to touch it to lift it up, because someone before him has pissed all over it. They know that their actions are unacceptable, because they will not make eye contact. Some aren’t even drunk as an excuse. But that’s not just our fans. They are the same everywhere. I just grab my handful of moistened and dry paper towels to take in with me.

        Then there’s the season-long broken latch that seems to always occur. It’s like Russian roulette with the maintenance of the stalls. Last year, the restrooms outside of section 204 had a broken latch for every game, so I rolled down to the next set of bathrooms. Everyone just has to have that wide stall for some reason. I don’t get it. I was able-bodied for 29 years, and never thought of doing that.

        Michigan’s stadium has a nice group of family restrooms, which were a combination of disabled access and baby changing station. Even those are sometimes violated by someone that feels they deserve to wreck it. Pittsburgh had the same, but actual had an attendant outside to the door to enforce the rules. Now that was nice. It’s a shame that your average Joe has to be forced to do the right thing.

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