Silos site for University of Louisville basketball?

Recent discussions initiated by Mayor Greg Fischer on using the KFC Yum! Center to attract an NBA franchise — discussions not involving the University of Louisville — prompted Tom Jurich to say he would be happy to have the basketball program on a site occupied by the silos near campus.

Jurich was obviously playing a trump card, calling the Mayor’s bluff, but his first choice was always a campus facility. Whether he’s serious about the silos is another question, as much as some UofL fans would like to see them gone. Their location on I-65 partially obscures an impressive view of the campus from tens of thousands of motorists daily.

But the silos are probably going to be there for a long time. They are the local operations of Solae, a DuPont-owned company, a world leader in the production of soybean products with operations in seven countries.  The company prides itself on high ethical values and environmental stewardship.

Solae has made solid good neighbor commitments to UofL, constructing attractive brick walls west of the silos on Floyd Street and, of course, with the highly-visible University of Louisville lettering and other art on the 11 silos by the interstate. When materials fade, they’re replaced by fresh ones.

Solae appears to be a thriving business. Right next door, across Byrne Street, the University is currently clearing land in the shadow of the silos for a new $18 million UofL soccer campus which Jurich promises will be the best college complex in the nation.

If the company ever leaves, UofL will be first in line for the 15 acres. Arena or not.

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Charlie Springer

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

5 thoughts on “Silos site for University of Louisville basketball?

  • October 23, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Good article, Charlie. TJ and Doc have kept this one in their file cabinet since 2007.

    I think relocating that business will be an easy move. The City undoubtedly will commit other land in that part of town to redevelopment. As fond as some people may be of the old silos, progressive thinkers consider them more of an eyesore than anything nostalgic.

    And in the end, the City will support U of L clearing the way for an NBA franchise. Arena dreamers are just an eyelash away from NBA dreamers who think the NBA will thrive in Louisville. In exchange for an on- or near-campus venue, U of L will give them that chance…

    • October 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      That someone is actually fond of the silos comes as a surprise to me, as would be the possibility of two new basketball facilities in town. Wonder what else the university could do with the property?

      • October 26, 2012 at 6:46 pm

        Silos rule nba sucks

  • October 24, 2012 at 7:49 am

    I had to laugh when I read that it was a thriving business, They are planning to end production on 12/31/12. It can probably be purchased from DuPont who is the sole owner.

    Thank you
    Ronnie Sanders
    Union President
    USW local 1693 unit 27

    • October 24, 2012 at 10:02 am

      Thanks for the information, Ronnie. That changes a lot of things in regard to the future of that site. We know these things have profound effects on people and wish employees the best of luck in the future.

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