Play Ball! Cards to open Jim Patterson Field

The University of Louisville will unveil Jim Patterson Stadium, a state-of-the-art multimillion dollar baseball facility located at the corner of Central Avenue and Third Street, on Friday, April 15th when the Cardinal baseball team plays host to East Carolina at 6:00 p.m. ET.

The University of Louisville will unveil Jim Patterson Stadium, a state-of-the-art multimillion dollar baseball facility located at the corner of Central Avenue and Third Street, on Friday, April 15th when the Cardinal baseball team plays host to East Carolina at 6:00 p.m. ET.

There will be a pregame ceremony to officially dedicate the stadium, featuring U of L graduate, former baseball team walk-on and local entrepreneur Jim Patterson, whose seven-figure donation spearheaded the drive to construct the ballpark. Dignitaries representing the University of Louisville, the athletic department and Commonwealth of Kentucky will also be featured in the ceremony. First pitch will be approximately at 6:30 p.m.

Construction began on the facility in August of 2004 and it seats 2,500 including 1,500 chair-back seats and a grass berm in left field. There is a main press box with two radio booths, a television booth and an AD suite.

The ballpark measures 330 feet down the lines, 375 to the power alleys and 402 to straightaway center, and a cutting-edge scoreboard in right field features an LED matrix scoreboard and a video screen.

The playing surface is Field Turf, like Major League Baseball's Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Devil Rays as well as Louisville's Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The exterior has elements that mirror U of L's nearby football facility.

U of L now owns just the 2nd NCAA baseball facility with Field Turf on entire field with exception of mound and home plate, which will be dirt similar to Washington State's Bailey-Brayton Field.

Construction has already begun on a locker room, training room, equipment room, batting and pitching cages that will be in the basement of the adjacent building. Frazier Rehab Center and baseball offices will be on the 2nd floor of the building.

The Cardinal Nine played home games at Eclipse Park on the corner of Seventh and Kentucky, Shawnee Park, Manual Stadium, St. Xavier Field and the Belknap Campus Diamond before Eclipse Park burned down in 1922. Parkway Field was constructed in 1923 on the U of L campus adjacent to Eastern Parkway. Parkway became a full-time home to the Cards around 1961 when the grandstand was torn down.

Louisville baseball made Parkway home until 1996 when home games were moved to Derby City Field. U of L began to play a portion of its games in Old Cardinal Stadium in 1998 and made it a full-time home in the spring of 2000 when the Louisville Riverbats moved to Louisville Slugger Field.

The first eight feet of the roof supports are constructed with green brick from the left field wall at historic Parkway Field, and infield dirt was taken from Parkway and placed in the batters box as a tribute to a facility that has seen the likes of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Honus Wagner, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Satchel Paige, Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson among others.

Admission to all home games at Patterson Stadium will be free, including Game One on the 15th.


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