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Sweating and donning Louisville City FC scarves and other purple gear, more than a hundred fans cheered Thursday as Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and other officials broke ground on the city’s new soccer stadium.

Kyeland Jackson | wfpl.org

City officials and Louisville City FC fans attend a groundbreaking for the Butchertown stadium.

The stadium will cost around $65 million to build but some of that money will be recouped through tax increment financing. That’s when the local government forgoes millions in new tax revenues to help developers pay for projects.

Fischer thanked the fans and private partners for helping fund the project, saying it marked “incredible achievements.”

“You’ve got to put a great product on the field, there’s no question about that. But then you’ve got to have a great team in the office and the ownership group to do what they say they’re going to do,” Fischer said. “If the private owners did not step up with this vision of a world-class stadium and put their hard-earned dollars behind it, this would not be happening.”

Public and private funds are being used for the project, with taxpayers forking over $42 million. In May, the state approved a TIF for stadium developers, meaning the local government will forgo millions in new tax revenues to help developers pay for the project.

Kyeland Jackson | wfpl.org

Officials break ground on the new soccer stadium in Butchertown.

Butchertown Neighborhood Association President Nick Johnson said locals are excited for the project. The land they’re building on, he said, didn’t have much which was “pretty to look at.”

“Butchertown is having its moment right now,” said Johnson. There’s a lot of new and exciting stuff happening here with new businesses and restaurants opening up all the time. Everybody wants to be in Butchertown and we’re happy to welcome the soccer club here as well.”

The stadium is expected to open by the beginning of the soccer season in 2020.

 

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.