Monday, August 19, 2013
Monday Cardinal Couple -- Fantastic Floyd Street.
MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-Floyd Street: The hub of Cardinal sports activity
I guess we local Louisville Cardinal fans take Floyd Street around the UofL campus for granted at times. I was talking with an out-of-town UofL fan recently and was describing the various facilities that are present on the stretch of Floyd from Brandeis Street to Central Avenue and the verbal tour I gave him made me realize that a lot of out-of-town Cardinal followers might not realize just what is encompassed in this small stretch of highway.
I had the opportunity to head to campus Sunday. Football open practice and a visit to 80 Under 80 to secure parking passes for the football season. Here's what I saw on that brief drive.
Getting off I-65 at the Arthur Street exit and taking a right onto Brandeis...the first thing you notice is Ulmer Stadium...the home of Cardinal softball. The ballpark is undergoing a refurbish this summer...more seating and a larger pressbox being constructed. Turning left onto Floyd Street, you drive by Ulmer and can see the bleachers on the left field line and field. A quick glance to my right revealed the Student Activities Center building as well. This facility holds Cardinal Arena, where the women's basketball team practices and Volleyball team holds a few matches each year. The three-story building also houses several of the coaches' offices and a weight room. There are also racquetball courts inside, several more basketball courts and a lot of intramural events are held there. It's where I go to do interviews with coaches Walz, Ferguson-Dayes and Pearsall for CARDINAL COUPLE Radio.
Right next to the SAC on the right is a four story parking facility. If you look to the left, you'll see Cardinal Park...where soccer and track and field hold their home events. There is also a kids' playground and building with locker rooms for softball and interview rooms.
I travel just a few yards further and I see Trager Stadium, home of Louisville Field Hockey, on my left and the Ralph Wright building on my right...where Louisville swimming performs their magic. I am at the corner of Floyd and Warnock...a McDonald's restaurant is on one corner, soccer practice fields, the theatre department's auxiliary playhouse on the right, across the street from the Ralph Wright Building. I go through the light and travel south on Floyd. There is parking for a short stretch and a Papa John's pizza restaurant to my right. I can see parking for the Bass-Rudd Tennis facility and the building to my left.
I am coming up to the new Soccer Stadium under construction on my left and the Yum! Practice facility on my right. The Yum! is where men's basketball and women's volleyball practice and if I do interviews with coaches Kordes or Kellie Young, I go there. Next to the Yum! is the Louisville lacrosse stadium. Coach Young has a great view of the field from her office. There are also railroad tracks on Floyd around this area. Sometimes, during lacrosse games...trains roll by and give a friendly blast to encourage Nikki Boltja or Kaylin Morissette to score.
Next on Floyd Street are the UofL football practice fields. Across the street on my left are a few small businesses and the former Parrish House (now Cardinal Alley) on the corner of Boxley and Floyd. 80 Under 80, the ultimate tailgating location for Cardinal football sits there also. To my right is parking for Papa John's Football Stadium. The offices of Louisville Sports Report are to my left and the majestic football stadium towers to my right. I get to the corner of Central and Floyd...reserved parking on either side of me.
Straight ahead would take me to more football parking. If I turn right...the Jim Patterson Baseball Stadium and Churchill Downs wait for me once I go over the Denny Crum Overpass. A left turn takes me to Crittenden Drive, the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center and Hall of Fame Restaurant.
A short drive, maybe five minutes in peak traffic...but the lifeline and hub of so many Cardinal Sports.
I remember years ago, when Floyd Street south of Warnock was a collection of old houses, buildings, a bar or two, railroad yards and not much else. My, how things change! It is, perhaps...our doppelganger for Times Square in New York...a constant hub of activity and action.
We'll see you on Floyd this season. Park wherever you like...