Professional Soccer Is Coming to Lexington, Complete with a Beautiful New Stadium
You can trace a certain unheralded phenomenon back to the 2000s. It doesn't get a LOT of play in sports media, but I've seen a few stories.
BASKETBALL SCHOOLS AND FOOTBALL SCHOOLS
But first, let's go back to the previous century when, with the exceptions of Michigan and Ohio State, there seemed to be a clear separation between "football schools" and "basketball schools." Both of the aforementioned universities have long and rich football traditions, but both have also won NCAA Championships and been to several Final Fours.
The Wolverines and Buckeyes have also made their way to the NCAA final weekend multiple times in this century. And Florida--a traditional football power--won back-to-back national titles in 2006 and 2007. Last season, Alabama was a 2-seed and Baylor--long thought a "football school" but mainly because it's in Texas--won the whole thing.
Cities and universities are embracing both big moneymaking collegiate sports more than ever. And it's happening in Kentucky, too.
No, the Wildcats haven't won a national football title since Bear Bryant roamed the sidelines and the year was 1950. But Big Blue Nation has more than extended its love for UK to the gridiron. The attendance is WAY up--thank you, Coach Mark Stoops--and fans have twice been rewarded with 10-3 seasons within the last four years.
And we're loving it.
And Lexington is loving it.
LEXINGTON PRO SOCCER
And Lexington will love supporting ANOTHER team when it comes to town. And this time it's a professional soccer team. What's more, plans are already in the works for a massive multi-purpose stadium in the middle of downtown next to Rupp Arena.
That location will only add to the excitement.
Lexington Pro Soccer does not yet have a name, but according to its website, that is heavily in the works. Additionally, suggestions are being crowd-sourced--a sensational idea that only seems natural.
When you hit up that website, make sure you check out the beautiful rendering concepts for the downtown stadium.
I'll level with you; I'm not a soccer fan. But I deeply appreciate the athleticism of the game. But soccer has a LOT of fans, and with the sport being so heavily entrenched in high school athletics, this new team and facility will only add to the excitement at that level.
Lexington Pro Soccer's first season will be in the spring of 2023 and the team will play in a local facility until the stadium is finished.