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ERIC Number: EJ838395
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar-20
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
University of Louisville Holds Fast to Plans for Big-Time Sports
Sander, Libby
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n28 pA1 Mar 2009
For five decades, the University of Louisville men's basketball team has played its home games at the state's fairgrounds, in a modest arena originally built for horse shows. And for just as many seasons, the team's toughest competition for scheduling has come from the livestock--and the flea markets and tractor pulls that also vie for the space. The years of wrangling over dates will end next year, when the university--and its highly ranked basketball teams--becomes the primary tenant of a $238-million arena being built on the banks of the Ohio River. The arena, now just a gaping pit on Main Street, marks the latest coup for an athletics program that for the past decade has made an aggressive attempt to raise its profile. The ambition is evident in almost everything Louisville does: its mushrooming budget, its many nationally ranked teams, even in the crimson and black paint slathered on the highway overpasses that wrap around this struggling South Louisville neighborhood. Yet with high-profile college sports programs now sweating over how to reconcile their lavish spending habits with plummeting endowments, a slowdown in ticket sales and sponsorships, and an uncertain fund-raising climate, Louisville's ability to maintain this momentum seems improbable. Officials hope the very elements that have been the key to rapid growth will also be a lifeline during the recession. A supportive business community, a re-energized downtown and eager civic leaders, and a ticket-buying public whose only other major sports attraction--the Kentucky Derby--comes just once a year have all proved so far to be strong legs on which to build. Having a university president who is a former state budget director and champion of athletics hasn't hurt, either.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky