Whether you’re just visiting or you’re a Kentuckian who is finally making it out to Lynn Family Stadium, Racing Louisville and Louisville City matches are more than just a game, they’re an experience.
The atmosphere in the new stadium, the welcoming supporters, the local food and drink (bourbon, of course!). It’s all part of what makes Louisville a great place to watch a game.
That’s why we’ve put together a gameday itinerary so that no matter what day of the week you visit, you’ll have a chance to soak up all of the soccer culture that Louisville has to offer.
First and foremost, dedicate extra time for pre-match eating and drinking.
Don’t worry, we’ll get to the new Lynn Family Stadium. And yes, it’s as amazing as they say. But surrounding the stadium are some great stops you don’t want to miss beforehand.
Start by grabbing a bite to eat at Feast BBQ. Kentucky may not be ranked alongside Texas or North Carolina when it comes to barbecue, but it still carries its own weight. Feast BBQ is a favorite among locals and tourists alike, and its proximity to the stadium makes it the perfect place to grab an affordable meal.
While you’re there, don’t forget to try the bourbon slushie! You’re in Louisville after all.
After you’ve filled your belly, walk a couple of blocks toward the stadium and you’ll find a few breweries that are worth a visit. Ten20 is the Louisville Coopers supporters bar and you’re almost guaranteed to run into fellow purple-clad Louisville fans before a match. If you get lucky, you might even be able to join the march to the match on certain game days.
If Ten20 is too busy or beer just isn’t your thing, walk one block down to Copper & Kings. This spot has a rooftop overlooking downtown and brews its own absinthe and brandy that are both worth a try. It’s also a partner bar for the LouCity Ladies supporters group.
Now that you’ve sampled some of the local fare, it’s time to head over toward the stadium.
We still recommend you arrive early and soak in the atmosphere. And don’t worry if you think you’re too early. We guarantee that the LouCity Tailgaters will have already been there for hours.
As you walk down Cabel Street toward Lynn Family Stadium, you’ll see the gorgeous arena on your left and a bright purple bus with flags waving on the hilltop to your right.
That is the LouCity Tailgaters and this is a group of some of the most friendly and welcoming soccer fans you’ll ever meet. They are always the first to open the gates for Racing Louisville and Louisville City matches and the last to leave, usually sticking around to help staff pick up trash left in the lots.
Once you spend some time immersing yourself in the tailgate scene head into the stadium for happy hour at the Four Roses Bar located at the southeast corner of the stadium. Since bourbon is so closely linked with the culture of Louisville, the bar is guaranteed to be packed with fans as early as an hour before kickoff.
Now that you’re inside, it’s almost game time and that means you have some decisions to make.
Sure, you could sit in your regular seats but the pro tip is to watch the match from different ends depending on where Louisville is attacking. That’s because in Louisville, supporter groups don’t just occupy one end of the stadium. They’re sprinkled throughout.
On one end, the Estopinal End of Lynn Family Stadium, you have the Louisville Coopers, Lavender Legion, and other supporter groups setting the tone with constant drumming and chanting all 90 minutes. The Lavender Legion leads the chants for Racing Louisville matches and the Louisville Coopers help bring the noise for both Louisville City and Racing Louisville.
Fun fact: The Louisville Coopers supporter group is attributed as being one of the main reasons why Louisville got a pro soccer team in the first place. So if you get lucky, you might run into Louisville Coopers President Herman Quinn on the drumline and get to hear about how the supporter culture in town actually helped establish the team many years ago.
On the other end of the stadium, you have Scouse House, a family-friendly supporter group that was created with the European football culture in mind. Mike “Scouse” Bromilow, one of the friendliest fans you’ll meet, is a Liverpool native who moved to Louisville nearly three decades ago. Wanting to help cultivate a soccer culture that mirrored the days of his youth, Scouse decided to create a welcoming community for new and longtime fans alike. Don’t let his kindness fool you though. Scouse House is positioned at the opposite end of the stadium to ensure that opposing goalkeepers get a full 90 minutes of jeers and banter when they come visit Lynn Family Stadium.
So next time you buy tickets to a Racing Louisville or Louisville City match, make time for the full soccer culture experience in town.
Whether you enjoy the nearby breweries and restaurants, meet the welcoming fans that make up the Louisville supporters groups, or even spend some extra time on the Bourbon Trail, you won’t be disappointed.
Altogether, the Louisville supporters are one big family and in just a few short years, they have turned the city into one of the best new soccer experiences in the country.