2014 was the highest average attendance per game in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium History. Louisville finished 9-3 in the regular season and 5-1 at home at PJCS. The weather for every game was outstanding and will continue to be a factor with the enhancements of television broadcasts. However, in 2014 the Cards enjoyed one of the best ‘Name Brand’ opponents in recent history. The schedule of Miami (FL), Murray State, Wake Forest, North Carolina State, Florida State, and Kentucky, was one game short of the usual 7 home games on the Cardinal schedule maybe also lending to the higher rate per game.
Papa John’s is Going to Look Different
Fundraising has just completed on the Thornton’s Academic Center of Excellence that will be built into the South End Zone beneath the Norton Terrace (commonly known as the ‘Party Deck’). Maker’s Mark also greatly contributed to the Academic Center, leading the way initially with it’s production and sale of the Maker’s Mark Louisville Series Bottles with Charlie Strong, Rick Pitino, Tom Jurich, and the Year of the Cardinal Bottles all with proceeds going to benefit the construction of the Academic Center. Additionally, several other private donations have backed the ongoing effort. Construction is not yet announced, but with fundraising completed that announcement is imminent.
The Howard Schellenberger Football Complex is also nearing a big overhaul. It’s been a public desire that the Complex itself was going to get a makeover, but no details have ever been officially announced. Rumor has it that the weight room will double in size along with meeting rooms, locker room expansion, all of which would take the entire complex closer to the street that separates the complex from the Trager Indoor Facility & the practice fields. This Schellenberger project is likely the next one after the Thornton’s Academic Center, and will be a HUGE component for recruiting and the future of the program with many programs like Tennessee, Texas A&M, and Oregon all getting new state of the art facilities.
Expanded seating at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium is coming. No one has said anything official, but being around the program and hearing the occasional rumble, I am really confident that a plan is coming together to expand the stadium to 70,000. Louisville has sold every ticket available for the past 3 seasons and has sold every suite for 2 consecutive seasons.
When the decision to expand the East side of PJCS, Tom Jurich reiterated that any expansion would be paid for with Suites and Club seating. I would expect a similar strategy with this round of expansion to include it entirely planned with revenue from Club & Suite sales and I’ve heard everything from field level suites with pyramid endzone seating (Like Seattle Seahawks) to Suites on the same level currently with just two sections further enclosing (but not all the way) the horseshoe. There may not be a permanent plan as of yet, but the idea to expand is certainly there.
If I get a vote (and I don’t), I vote for field level suites and a fully enclosed bowl putting the band in the 1st row in middle of the opposite endzone……oh and somebody please mic up the band!
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