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Louisville baseball getting new indoor facility

It’s all thanks to a generous donation from Kroger.

Exciting news for the future of Louisville baseball today.

Here’s the full release from U of L:

Kroger Louisville Division, which operates 116 retail food stores in Kentucky, Southern Indiana and Southern Illinois, has provided a $3 million gift toward the construction of an indoor baseball practice facility adjoining Jim Patterson Stadium on the University of Louisville campus.

“Kroger has made an amazing difference in the community, across campus, and by supporting our student athlete experience,” said UofL Vice President/Director of Athletics Vince Tyra. “We have a number of shared values that led us to today’s announcement of Kroger’s lead gift toward an indoor performance facility for our baseball team. With Ann Reed, Kroger has a visionary leader liken to Dan McDonnell who continues to lead the most successful baseball program in the country. I know this facility is part of Dan’s vision for our baseball program and Ann Reed and her management team were ready to support that vision and further enhance the partnership between our athletic department and Kroger.”

“We are proud to announce our gift of $3 million to be donated toward the construction of the new indoor baseball practice facility here at Jim Patterson Stadium,” said Ann Reed, Kroger Louisville Division President. “This new facility will help ensure the best recruits and talent come right here to Louisville.”

“Kroger had taken a thoughtful and purposeful approach while creating our unique partnership with the University. Not only is Kroger committed to UofL Athletics, but to the mission of the University. In 2019 as part of our Zero Hunger, Zero Waste plan, we announced a 1.8-million-dollar partnership inclusive of $80,000 in annual Zero Hunger, Zero Waste scholarships for students from diverse and underserved communities, monetary and in kind donations to the Cardinal Cupboard Student Food Pantry, discounts on grocery purchases for all faculty and staff, student internship programs, and facilitating connections in the community to assist in furthering the University’s food waste recycling efforts.”

“This is a great day for the Louisville baseball program,” said UofL Head Baseball Coach Dan McDonnell. “Our program is all about excellence, a value that we share with Kroger. Excellence in the classroom, on the diamond, and in this great community. We want to express our gratitude to Ann Reed and the Kroger family for their commitment to Louisville baseball and our continued pursuit of excellence.”

The generous gift will be paid over 10 years, with $300,000 contributed each year. UofL will continue to seek additional gifts prior to breaking ground on the approximately $12 million facility.

A timetable for construction has not been set for the indoor facility, which will be erected outside of the left field area next to Jim Patterson Stadium. The structure was first mentioned publicly at the Cardinals’ 2020 Leadoff Dinner, and renderings of the building were revealed at the 2021 Leadoff Dinner. The building will house between 28-35,000 square feet of space, large enough to contain an entire infield. It will not only provide an indoor artificial turf surface for use during inclement weather, but the additional space allows the Shad Mason Hack Shack to become a dedicated pitching lab.

Kroger has been a longtime sponsor of Cardinal Athletics, providing support for the athletics program for many years. Kroger sponsors the Governor’s Cup trophy, presented to the winner of the annual Louisville-Kentucky football game, and has provided $10,000 in scholarships to each school annually since 1994.

You can find renderings of the new facility here.