University of Louisville Vice-President/Director of Athletics Tom Jurich has built the Cardinals’ athletics department behind the generosity of members of the Cardinal Athletic Fund, corporate partners and with the support of the program’s loyal fan base.
When he announced plans last August to expand Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium and the Howard Schnellenberger Football Complex, Jurich said the $55-million project would be raised through private donations.
Since the ‘Coming Full Circle’ campaign began in February, fundraising has exceeded expectations. The Cardinals have raised nearly $20 million through the first two months – Pepsi donated $5 million, and David and Rick Kueber, owners of Sun Tan City/Planet Fitness, contributed $3 million.
As of Thursday, approximately half of the venue’s 70 premium boxes have been sold, Louisville has received commitments for nine exclusive field-level suites, and over 100 club seats have been purchased.
When the project is completed, Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium will feature 1,000 club seats, 70 premium boxes, and 12 exclusive field level suites. These premium seats will have access to two premier gathering areas; the Pepsi Club, which will provide viewing access to the field, and another premium club that will be similar to AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. This will provide a unique fan perspective that will allow fans the opportunity to be close to the action and be a part of the excitement as the players take the field.
For the football players, the football complex will undergo dramatic changes to the training areas and improve the overall student-athlete experience. With an additional 70,000 square feet will allow the team’s weight room and conditioning center to double in size, creating space for team workouts, conditioning, and an enhanced athletic training space equipped with a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy area.
A luxurious and spacious players’ lounge, improvements for coaches’ offices and the team locker room, and expansive theatre-style meeting areas also will be among the major improvements dedicated for student-athlete development.
Originally completed in 1998, Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, which opened with a capacity of 42,000, was expanded five years ago to its present capacity of 55,000, and will expand to approximately 65,000 after construction.
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