Ninth Street: Field of Dreams

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In 2014, Spalding University dared to be bold. Dared to dream that seven and a half acres on the Ninth Street corridor could be something other than a deserted, aging concrete remnant long abandoned. As of Fall 2019, our dream has been realized. Spalding held a grand opening on Oct. 23, 2019 to unveil the athletic field complex, which elevates the SoBro revitalization initiative and increases community awareness regarding brownfield sites and redevelopment. The complex will for the first time provide on-campus home fields for Spalding’s men’s and women’s soccer and softball teams and will create the opportunity to add new sports programs, such as lacrosse and field hockey, in the future. In addition, this project will inform community leadership that there is an institutional interest in future development of the neighborhood while serving as a model for other cities that pursue projects focused on sustainability and environmentally sensitive design. With a future phase planned to construct a fieldhouse that will improve the athlete and visitor experience, Spalding still needs financial support for this project. So dream with us.

Spalding soccer team huddling together on field.
Athletes pose along chainlink fence at abandoned Ninth Street property

9th Street

“[This] is a major win-win not only for Spalding and the neighborhood, but for the entire community as a whole.” – Mayor Greg Fischer

Spalding baseball player in uniform mid-pitch.
Softball players hi-five on field

The addition of the fields adds value to the experience of the student-athlete. Participation in intercollegiate athletics is a privilege and provides a dynamic forum to develop life skills. Spalding’s NCAA D-III athletes possess the same passion and same competitiveness as scholarship athletes at larger universities.

The fields are also an asset to the Louisville community. “With these fields and this greenery along Ninth Street, it will change the perception of that area and change the perception of Spalding and our campus,” says President Tori Murden McClure. SoBro is a neighborhood where everyone can come together, and Spalding is dedicated to improving the landscape of this community by adding a mix of green and environmentally-friendly spaces.

Share it. Cultivate it. Give to it. We are looking to you to help raise awareness and, in turn, boost financial support to the Ninth Street project. Help us identify those individuals and organizations who find purpose in supporting our diverse student population, NCAA Division III athletics and improving the downtown Louisville landscape. We need the support of our community and our friends to make Ninth Street a place to live, learn, work and play.

Contact the Office of Advancement at [email protected].