The Louisville Cardinals Athletic Facilities Offer A Life Of Luxury

Louisville Cardinals athletic facilities The 2012-2013 school year has been one heck of an athletic ride for the University of Louisville Cardinals, particularly among the institution's top revenue generating sports. This very week saw the Cardinals men's basketball team capture its third-ever national championship, with the Louisville women following up Rick Pitino's squad's effort, by finishing national runner-up, in their title game loss to UConn. The remarkable success of the university's basketball programs comes on the heels of the Cardinals football club finishing last season 11-2, after a stunning Sugar Bowl victory over the Florida Gators. Coach Charlie Strong and star QB Teddy Bridgewater have Louisville football fans as excited and hopeful as they have been in years.

It can be argued that one of the reasons for this current era of on field achievement is the school's simply first rate athletic facilities. Both the men's and women's hoops teams (along with the women's volleyball team) call the 22,000-seat KFC Yum! Center home. The downtown Louisville structure (on the banks of the Ohio River) opened its doors in 2010 and very much takes on the characteristics of an NBA venue. With 71 suites, 62 premium boxes, a team store and practice court, the $238 million venture offers players and fans considerably more amenities than the majority of college basketball fieldhouses. Louisville based Yum! Brands RSC (owns KFC, Taco Bell & Pizza Hut) paid $13.5 million for the naming rights to the arena, located three miles north of campus.

Speaking of Louisville's 345-acre campus, when members of the men's and women's hoops, men's and women's lacrosse and women's volleyball teams are honing their crafts, they do so at the state-of-the-art Yum! Center. The 60,000-square-foot, six-year-old practice venue houses offices, locker-rooms, training and conditioning facilities, player lounges, film/meeting spaces and academic services for all of the above sports.

Not to be outdone by their athletic buddies, the Cardinals football program can boast of some fancy digs of their own. The team plays its home games at the Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Initially opened as a 42,000-seat complex, back in 1998, the current stadium configuration holds a considerably larger 55,000-seat capacity, equipped with an impressive 63 luxury suites. Papa John's Pizza, which is headquartered in Louisville, has contributed more than $15 million to the initial construction and subsequent expansion of the stadium. Ironically, Papa John's Founder & CEO, John Schnatter, attended Ball State University, but as can be easily deducted from this drunken Final Four photo,  he loves him some Louisville Cardinals.

The Howard Schnellenberger Football Complex and Trager Center represent the football program's participation in creature comfort luxury. Located immediately adjacent to the gameday field, the Schnellenberger building houses all of the football player and coaches facilities, including an 8,500-square-foot weight room.

The Trager Center offers the football team a 90,000-square-foot, indoor practice venue. The structure also offers practice amenities for the school's track & field, baseball, softball, soccer, field hockey and lacrosse teams.

Aside from the previously mentioned athletic venues, it has to be noted that only the school's tennis team plays in a facility, in which the current configuration predates the turn of the century (tennis complex built in 1994). Adding to this pattern of modernization, the men's and women's soccer teams will be moving into a new home next year.

As a result of the University of Louisville's obvious and fully engaged desire to provide its teams with the very best tools for success, is it any wonder that so many high level high school recruits are making the decision to spend their college careers in the state of Kentucky's largest city?