And a design element incorporated into many European stadiums to protect fans from the rain was added to the design to protect U of L soccer fans from a different weather element.
“Given our environment here to have the majority of seats covered with a shade canopy huge for this environment,” Estopinal said.
The soccer season starts in the late summer months so for many of the early season games the sun is still up and the heat can be a factor.
“I think we’ll see the crowds building for these successful programs much earlier in the season because of shade,” Estopinal said. “I think you’ll see a really great fan response to this.”
He added the canopy adds another element to the fan and player experience also used in European soccer stadiums.
Estopinal said the covered grandstands helps to project noise on the pitch and the grandstands in Louisville’s new stadium will accomplish the same goal. In addition, designs were sure to keep the focus on the field even when visiting concessions or the facilities in the stadium to keep the fans close to the action — an element lost in the old facility.
“It’s really going to keep the atmosphere focused on the [action],” Estopinal said.
OTHER PERKS, SOCCER PASSION
The soccer stadium will be the second largest on-campus facility behind Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium and will feature another unique element. It will include a 15,350-square-foot training center with identical locker rooms for the U of L men’s and women’s teams, coaches offices, a training room, meeting rooms and a player lounge area, as well as a suite and press box situated atop the grandstand at midfield.
“So few programs in the U.S. have these things consolidated,” Estopinal said.