Tag Archives: John Neace

PRESS RELEASE | Louisville City FC hires renowned firm HOK for stadium design

Louisville City FC has entered into partnership with global architecture firm HOK for design of a soccer-specific stadium and adjacent development projects, a key step in the club’s pursuit of a long-term home.
HOK will provide the vision for a 10,000-seat stadium that could later expand in capacity to 20,000. The overall site plan will also include space for office and retail development.
“We’re getting closer to securing a lot in urban Louisville, and now we’re thinking about what we can build on it,” said LouCity Chairman John Neace. “HOK’s work ensures that once a location is determined, community members will have a tangible picture of Louisville City FC’s future.”
HOK has worked since 2015 with the LouCity’s United Soccer League, helping position each of its clubs in soccer-specific stadiums by 2020. The firm’s soccer portfolio boasts Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home to MLS’ Atlanta United, the San Jose Earthquakes’ Avaya Stadium and a number of USL ventures.
“We’re excited to work with Louisville City FC on the design of their new stadium,” said Chris DeVolder, vice president and soccer market leader for HOK’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice. “The facility will serve as a model for other USL teams looking to elevate their stadiums in the urban core.”
LouCity currently pays to rent and play in Louisville Slugger Field, also home for the Triple-A Louisville Bats baseball franchise. A soccer-specific stadium would open new revenue streams, scheduling opportunities and raise the pitch to international standards.
“When you throw everything into the mix, it really is a must that we have these things in place at a stadium,” said LouCity Coach James O’Connor. “Apart from the financial implications of playing at Slugger, I think the supporters should have a place they can call home and for us to have a pitch that’s one surface and fully sized.”
O’Connor has led LouCity to consecutive appearances in the USL Eastern Conference Final, earning 100 points in 58 regular-season games since 2015 — most of any team in the league. An average of 7,218 fans attended LouCity’s 2016 USL games, ranking third of 30 clubs. The 2017 season will run from March through October with a schedule due out soon.
Amid success on the field, a study conducted by Convention, Sports & Leisure and Legends and released last August by Louisville Forward confirmed that a soccer-specific stadium is needed to maintain and grow professional soccer in Louisville.
Mayor Greg Fischer at the time said sharing fields with the Louisville Bats “is not sustainable.” He added that the “Louisville City Football Club is off to a great start, and we must embrace the growing demand for soccer in our city and strategically prepare for long-term growth.”
HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm. Through a network of 23 offices worldwide, HOK provides design excellence and innovation to create places that enrich people’s lives and help clients succeed. DesignIntelligence consistently ranks HOK as a leader in sustainable, high-performance design and technology innovation.
As a sports facilities design leader for more than 30 years, HOK has built a legacy of exceptional stadiums, arenas, training facilities, ballparks and master plans that exceed the needs, goals and values of teams, universities and cities. The firm’s designs for soccer stadiums across the country blend distinctive features and abundant amenities with innovative approaches to sponsorship, branding and activation to enliven communities, help teams recruit top talent and compete at the highest levels.

HOK’s innovative design process both anticipates and directs the future. We blend our client’s goals with our expertise to create a fully connected, cost-effective, dynamic and unique game-day experience. Soccer stadiums play an integral role in building a team’s brand and identity within their city. HOK has a history of providing creative design solutions for the USL and MLS that are iconic and fan focused, elevating their brand recognition and establishing soccer as a key entertainment choice in each city. As soccer continues to attract a diverse and passionate fan base, the sport has reached the most coveted fans – Millennials, Gen Z and young families. This youthful fan base values the beauty of the game, connectivity to the urban core and the experience inside the stadium. To reach this audience, HOK designs soccer stadiums that are activate, flexible and technologically advanced, offering social gathering spaces, unique food and beverage offerings and celebrating the traditions of the game.

PRESS RELEASE | Louisville City and iHeartMedia Make Broadcast Deal

Louisville City FC and iHeartMedia on Tuesday announced a landmark broadcast partnership for the 2017 pro soccer season including coverage of home and away games.

The broadcasts, which consist of pre-game and post-game programming, will air on NewsRadio 840 WHAS (WHAS-AM), Cards Radio 790 KRD (WKRD-AM) or Talk Radio 1080 (WKJK-AM). This marks the first full-season media rights agreement for LouCity as it joins other local iHeartMedia sports partners: the University of Louisville, University of Kentucky and Louisville Bats.

Additionally, LouCity’s weekly Soccer City radio show, presented by Mulloy Commercial Real Estate, has been extended through the end of 2017. The program airs Saturdays on 790 KRD from 9-10 a.m.

“Soccer has taken this city by storm, and we’re excited to be a part of LouCity’s continued growth,” said iHeartMedia Sports Director Tony Vanetti.

T.J. Walker (play-by-play) and Jeff Milby (color commentary) will call the action on LouCity game broadcasts.

Walker, who announced the video broadcast of LouCity’s first-ever game in 2015, hosts a daily sports talk show on 1450 WXVW and covers University of Kentucky recruiting for Rivals.com.  Milby took official statistics for LouCity during its first two seasons and contributed to the club’s official website.

In addition to his duties on the broadcasts, Milby recently took over as host of Soccer City, an all-encompassing program that covers the game on local, national and world levels; its focus is on LouCity’s pursuit of a United Soccer League championship.

The new broadcast agreement also includes coverage of LouCity games on the iHeartRadio mobile app and expanded promotional announcements across several iHeartMedia radio stations.

“We’re pleased to partner with iHeartMedia to bring local broadcasts of all our USL games to the surrounding region,” said LouCity Chairman John Neace. “To join a lineup that includes University of Louisville and Kentucky athletics speaks to Louisville City FC’s rapid growth. We hope our fans take advantage of the broadcasts for increased coverage of the club and anticipate one day soon they’ll be coming to you live from a stadium of our own.”

LouCity’s league, the USL, was recently bumped to Division 2 status by U.S. Soccer, only one level below Major League Soccer. The club enters 2017 off back-to-back runs to the USL’s Eastern Conference Final and returned the core of a roster that was two wins from a championship.

The 32-game regular season starts the weekend of March 24-26 with the full USL schedule due out soon.

From the Editor | December-January 2016/17

A FEW MONTHS AGO, I met with Jessica Bostock and her husband, John, who is featured on our cover. Despite the fact that he is battling a serious form of brain cancer and was originally told in July 2015 that he only had six to 12 months to live, the couple exuded hope and a fervent refusal to give up. They also bostockexpressed a willingness to share their story, and I’m so grateful that they have in this issue of Extol. The Bostocks tale — which is far from over — is a beautiful example of triumph over tragedy and proof that no matter what is occurring in our lives, we have the power to choose hope over helplessness and inspire others to do the same.


So Sharp

Guess the cat is out of the bag – or should I say the cardinal? – now that we can officially announce Todd Sharp, head coach of the University of Louisville’s Ladybirds, will star in his own reality show on Lifetime. We featured Todd, who also coaches the Floyd Central Dazzlers, on our August/September cover in an article we titled, “So Sharp.” According to the championship coach (who’s known for his no-holds-barred approach to life), his reality show will be called, fittingly, “So Sharp.” You can say you saw it here first. Filming for the first season of the show, which is produced by Collins Avenue, should begin no later than January.


Extol on the Move

Nearly two years ago, my husband, Jason Applegate, and I debuted Extol Magazine, a publication with a mission of celebrating Southern Indiana.

The first person who invested in our dream was John Neace, a longtime New Albany resident and successful businessman who is known for leading a life of integrity and valuing people based on their word.

Thankfully, John believed in what we wanted to accomplish and, along with Vitor Bueno, who is now with 3 Crown Capital, silently put forth the investment as minority ownership partners that, combined with everything Jason and I had in our savings, made Extol come to fruition and flourish, thanks to you, our readers, and the talented Extol Team.

Recently, we made the decision to accept the opportunity to operate under John’s private equity company, Neace Ventures, which is headed up by President Brad Estes and includes Old 502 Winery, Brownies “The Shed” Grille & Bar, Falls City Brewing Co., Louisville City FC pro soccer team, Blue River Cabinetry, AllTerrain Paving & Construction and many other locally-owned and operated businesses in the portfolio.

While Jason and I will continue to guide Extol and remain focused on our mission of celebrating — and serving — the Southern Indiana community, becoming a part of the Neace Ventures family is going to give us growth opportunities, the likes of which will benefit you. We can’t wait to share what happens next.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read Extol.

Yours truly,

Angie Fenton

Editor in Chief