By Ed Green
P3 Kentucky Editor
Last week’s approval by Louisville leaders to spend nearly $30 million on land and improvements for a new soccer stadium has drawn a positive response from neighbors and the community at large.
Louisville Metro Council voted to approve a $30 million bond to support the stadium for Louisville City FC. The funds will be used by the city to purchase and remediate property, and to make infrastructure improvements that will allow development to begin as early as next summer.
The agreement approved by the Council included amendments to the city’s original agreement to ensure continued investments by the ownership group, including construction of a $45 million stadium and other investments. The group is led by Mike Mountjoy, founding partner of P3 Kentucky Roundtable member MCM CPAs and Advisors.
The Council also approved an ordinance to apply to the state for a tax-increment financing (TIF) district around the proposed development site.
As WAVE-TV reported, several area businesspeople lauded the deal.
“This is like the biggest thing to happen to Louisville for me,” Butchertown Market owner Andy Blieden, who owns 22 properties in the area, told the station. “I grew up here and in the last half century, this is the best news I’ve heard. … In real estate, we talk about highest and best use. This is actually the highest and best use for this property.”
Metro Councilman Brent Ackerson told WHAS-TV that the project is exciting and necessary.
“I’ve always been tough on government subsidies for what I consider rich people – business can handle its own business. However, there are times that the government should be involved when it’s dealing with brownfields, trying to revitalize areas that need economic development. The government should be involved.”
Louisville Business First reported that the terms of the revised deal also call for the ownership group to repay $14.5 million of the $30 million spent by the city over two decades and limits a relocation before the team’s financial obligations are met.
“I’m pleased that the Metro Council voted to approve this public-private partnership that takes an underused, very visible swath of land and creates a vibrant new soccer stadium district that builds on the city’s momentum and creates over 1,700 jobs,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “This is a smart opportunity, and when smart opportunities to move our city forward come up, we grab them.”