Cardinal Stadium, which was built on a former railroad repair yard, is now one of the best facilities in college football. When the stadium opened in 1998 the capacity was 42,000, after two renovations, the capacity is now 60,000 including 12 field level suites, 33 east side suites, and 28 west side suites. The facility also has two 40-foot by 80-foot LED videoboards on the north end zone and a 24-foot by 92-foot videoboard in the south end zone, along with a total of 344 feet of ribbon boards on the east and west sides of the stadium.
Brownfield to Football Field
Cardinal Stadium was built on a railroad repair yard that operated for 90 years. The industrial chemicals used on the 92 acre property caused contamination of the soil and therefore it is considered a Brownfield site.
Initial Construction Phase
Initial Construction Phase
After a decade of planning and private fundraising, the University of Louisville and the city of Louisville took a major step forward in breaking ground for Cardinal Stadium on June 19, 1996. With its original configuration when it opened in September of 1998, the sparkling new stadium featured a capacity of 42,000 as the only on-campus stadium in the nation with all the chairback seating, including multiple private suites and the Brown & Williamson Club that spans the length of the playing field.
In 2010, over 10,000 additional chair back seats were added to a second deck on the east side of the stadium in the UPS Flight Deck. The $75 million expansion project included 33 new luxury suites along with 2,000 premium loge seats and added the Norton’s Terrace atop the south end zone, a popular gathering place for fans. In addition to serving as the home for Cardinal Football, the stadium has also played host to multiple concerts, music festivals and sporting events, including the U.S. Women’s World Cup Champion soccer team.
Another new addition!
In this $63.25 million dollar expansion of the stadium, which also included a major upgrade to the Howard Schnellenberger Football Complex, the stadium added an additional 6,000 seats. This section holds 800 modern club seats, 68 premium loge level boxes, and 12 exclusive field level suites, along with the Pepsi Club.
Cabooses and Train Horn
Salute to Rail History — The land on which Cardinal Stadium was built previously served as the site for the Louisville & Nashville (L&N) South Louisville Rail Yard. During construction of the stadium, the blaring train horn that was used at the rail yard to indicate shift changes was reclaimed and is now blown pregame and each time the Cardinals score. In addition, several train cabooses, complete with appropriate utilities and decked out with spirited UofL decor, are parked in line next to the train tracks that are still operational on the west side of the stadium and are leased for tailgating gatherings.