Since its opening in 2005, Jim Patterson Stadium has provided the University of Louisville baseball program with one of the great home field advantages in all of college baseball. With an initial seating capacity of 2,500 upon opening, the ballpark underwent an expansion project prior to the 2013 season increasing capacity to more than 4,000 and maintaining Jim Patterson Stadium as one of the elite facilities in the nation.
Spearheaded by the leadership gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Patterson, the privately funded expansion of Jim Patterson Stadium was a $4 million facility development plan which featured the addition of 1,500 chair back seats, a 6,400 sq. ft. terrace directly accessible above the chair back seats and a two-tiered ground level terrace extending from the first and third base dugouts. The project also included an expanded press box, which doubled the previous space used to facilitate media and hospitality, and a visiting team locker room behind the third base dugout.
The expansion doubled the number of chair back seats taking the total to 3,000 while the overall seating capacity of more than 4,000 places Jim Patterson Stadium among the Top 30 of university controlled collegiate ballparks in the nation. The increased permanent seating enables Louisville to host NCAA Regional and Super Regional games without the additional expense of temporary bleacher rentals. Since its opening, Jim Patterson Stadium has hosted three NCAA Regionals (2009, 2010 and 2013) and one NCAA Super Regional (2007).
After starting construction in August of 2004, the University of Louisville unveiled Jim Patterson Stadium, located at the corner of Central Avenue and Third Street, on Friday, April 15, 2005, when the Cardinals battled East Carolina in front of a then-school record crowd of 3,213.
A pregame ceremony to officially dedicate the stadium featured U of L graduate, former baseball team walk-on and local entrepreneur Jim Patterson, whose seven-figure donation led the drive to construct the $8.5 million ballpark. Joining Patterson were Louisville Mayor Jerry Abrahamson, U of L Board of Trustees Chairman Junior Bridgeman, U.S. Representative Anne M. Northup, U of L President Dr. James Ramsey, U of L Vice president for Athletics Tom Jurich, and more than 100 U of L baseball alumni.
Along with the 3,000 chairback seats, Jim Patterson Stadium has a tiered, turf berm in left field. The press box features an expanded television suite, two radio booths, game operations booth, an expanded seating area for non-broadcast media, an AD suite and a development 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 featuring an LED matrix scoreboard and video screen.
The playing surface is FieldTurf, same as the Tampa Bay Rays' Tropicana Field, as well as Louisville's Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The playing field was completely resurfaced in the summer of 2013 providing the Cardinals with one of the nation's best surfaces. The exterior of the ballpark has elements that mirror U of L's nearby football facility.
The adjacent building along the first base side of the ballpark houses the baseball offices, while the basement of the building features three pitching/batting cages, full club house facilities with a players' lounge, theatre style team-meeting room, weight room, equipment room, computer lab, training room and laundry facilities.
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.
In January of 2007, crews converted the home plate area from dirt into a field turf surface complete with permanent batters boxes. The only dirt on the field is on the pitcher's mound.
The stadium was placed on display to a nationwide audience and received rave reviews during the 2007 Super Regional between the Cardinals and Oklahoma State, with all three games being televised by ESPN and ESPN2. Fans poured into the stadium, establishing impressive attendance numbers.
The 2008 off-season included a complete reconstruction of the left field berm, with terracing giving the fans a place for a lawn chair or blanket. Children of all ages can enjoy the playground beyond the fence in centerfield.
In 2009, U of L hosted its first ever NCAA Regional at Jim Patterson Stadium when it welcomed Indiana, Middle Tennessee and Vanderbilt. On the opening day of the regional, a stadium and school record crowd of 4,605 watched as the Cardinals earned an 8-2 win over IU. The Cards went on to win the NCAA Regional with a title game triumph over Vandy. Louisville hosted its second straight NCAA Regional and its third NCAA post-season round in 2010. In 2013, the Cardinals set a new facility and school attendance record as crowd of 4,733 packed the ballpark for the annual Battle of the Bluegrass with Kentucky. Later that same season, Louisville hosted an NCAA Regional for the third time sweeping through Bowling Green, Miami (Fla.) and Oklahoma State.
Admission to most home games at Patterson Stadium is free, and all areas of the park are accessible to those with physical disabilities.
Jim Patterson Stadium Details
|Top 10 Home Crowds in University of Louisville Baseball History (All Games at Jim Patterson Stadium)|
|1. 4,733||April 2, 2013||vs. Kentucky (L, 5-4)||2013 Regular Season|
|2. 4,605||May 29, 2009||vs. Indiana (W, 8-2)||2009 NCAA Regional|
|3. 4,573||April 13, 2013||vs. Elon (W, 7-5)||2013 Regular Season|
|4. 4,374||June 2, 2013||vs. Oklahoma State (W, 12-3)||2013 NCAA Regional|
|5. 4,211||June 10, 2007||vs. Oklahoma State (W, 20-2)||2007 NCAA Super Regional|
|6. 4,138||June 9, 2007||vs. Oklahoma State (L, 3-2)||2007 NCAA Super Regional|
|7. 4,039||April 28, 2010||vs. Kentucky (W, 10-9)||2010 Regular Season|
|8. 4,023||June 8, 2007||vs. Oklahoma State (W, 9-0)||2007 NCAA Super Regional|
|9. 4,006||May 31, 2009||vs. Vanderbilt (L, 8-4)||2009 NCAA Regional|
|10. 3,862||April 24, 2012||vs. Kentucky (W, 10-2)||2012 Regular Season|