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Almost 5,000 attend Louisville City stadium opener

A crowd of 4,850 was in attendance as USL Championship team Louisville City FC opened its new Lynn Family Stadium yesterday (Sunday).

The stadium has a maximum capacity of 15,304 and was around 30 per cent full for yesterday’s match, which saw the home side defeated 3-1 by Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC. A number of guidelines were put in place for the match, which went ahead with fans as the US continues to deal with the impact of COVID-19.

The team said the crowd marks the largest at a team sporting event in the US since the COVID-19 outbreak. Fans in the stadium were socially distanced and the match went ahead under facility operator ASM Global’s Venue Shield plan.

The club had been given government approval to host games at 50 per cent capacity, on the conditions that temperature checks were taken, masks were worn on the concourse and social distancing was adhered to. The attendance ended up being closer to 30 per cent of the stadium’s maximum capacity.

Six feet, or the equivalent of three empty chairs, was required between family seating pods. Other fans admitted to Sunday’s game were located in clubs or standing room-only supporter zones behind both goals.

Louisville City FC worked with ticketing partner SeatGeek, whose physical distancing software was used to ensure fans were suitably separated at Lynn Family Stadium.

Work on the stadium was completed back in March. Louisville City FC had been due to play its first match at the venue on April 11 but had to wait to open the venue due to COVID-19. The new $65m (£51.5m/€57.2m) stadium will also be used for concerts and events, as well as Louisville’s National Women’s Soccer League franchise, which begins play next year.

Louisville City had been playing at Louisville Slugger Field, home to the Louisville Bats baseball team, since 2015. Work commenced on the new 11,600-seat stadium in June 2018 and was completed on time and on budget by the Messer/Harmon construction team.

Image: Louisville City FC