The team looks like it has a lot to improve on. Thank goodness there is an open week so they can get a few things in order. My comment here though is about the stadium expansion. I thought even during the Orange Bowl year (those were the days...) it was unnecessary. There's a few reasons I say this:
We haven't had the tradition (therefore the support) to warrant a larger stadium even during the John L. and Petrino days (ahh, those were, oh yeah, I've said that once). Along with this our program fan base is largely based on actual alum from throughout the Commonwealth (what a concept!), a portion of the citizens of Louisville, and the diehards in other parts of the state who are a definite minority (I'm an alum from Winchester, Kentucky so I know the situation pretty well). It's a little easier to sell tickets when your fan base is made up of people looking to very vicariously identify with something positive in their life.
Plus we love, but are not in love with the team. Most of us have pretty balanced lives ( I don't see this as a negative comment). Having lived in and around Lexington (actually born there too), a dismal year living in Columbus, Ohio ('ohohohoh' said in Homer Simpson shutter-at-the-thought tone) and now living in Portland, Oregon I have a pretty good sense of that phenomenon. Wildcat fans are extremely well represented (majority of their fans?) by people who couldn't even point you in the right direction of UK's campus. And Ohio State...wow, their fan base...I don't know if they are more obnoxious or tied with UK fans for that blue ribbon-most of whom never went to the school. Here in Portland the Oregon Ducks have the 'townies' support throughout much of the state while Oregon State's fans are much more based in a fan mix very similar to Louisville.
I realize the new seats are to attract a larger fan base (larger student section would be nice, high schoolers, families on a budget, stoners, punks, etc.) but I still can't see this holding up.
Rutgers opened with a sellout of their new stadium this weekend. After a drubbing by Cincinnati and possible more to come this year I can't see that continuing. And Rutgers is the only major college in New Jersey, has large alum base and is one of the only decent college sports programs in the tri-state area.
Cardinal Stadium didn't even sell out on Saturday night. It's Saturday. It's a night game. It's the home opener. I don't care who we play or who our coach is there should be more than 39.000 in the stands in that scenario if we are truly a football program on the rise that needs a few thousand additional seats. Expansion...seriously? 'If you built it they will come'. That only works in films with Kevin Costner's robotic acting skills. Michigan and Notre Dame football have been down for years and it's still hard to get tickets to those home games.
Now if we were talking about UofL basketball that would be a different subject. Expand the new arena to 35,000 and I would see that as a good move.
Finally, the stadium is fine the way it is. I love the intimate confines of 42,000 fans. It makes for a wanted ticket and assures a near sellout no matter what the circumstance. A stadium like that becomes the event and place to be whether the team is 5-7 or 11-1. Ever been to a place like Fenway or Wrigley (I'm in no way comparing UofL football to those two teams, but just hang with me)? You think people go to Wrigley to see the Cubs lose year after year? No, even the most self-proclaimed obsessed Cubs fan has to admit the reason 90% of the people at Wrigley is to enjoy a day at Wrigley on the north side of Chicago and cheer the Cubs win or lose (while downing lots of beer). Cardinal Stadium could be a place to enjoy a day at the stadium on the south central side of Louisville.
Maddie in PDX