I hereby declare that I am going to go to more University of Louisville sporting events. We don’t have many professional teams around these parts, so if you want to enjoy a game or two, why not head to see the Cardinals? We always hear about Football and Basketball but those games are huge and pricey for families. The “smaller” sports get you closer to the game and have a nice ticket price (hey, baseball is free!).
Before the game, it was a wonderful evening weather-wise so we walked around the campus near Cardinal Towne Center. There is a Freedom Park that the kids enjoyed walking around and looking at an old church we circled around just to be outside a little bit. It’s also really close to the Planetarium and so dining, walking around and hanging out outside is all really convenient before a sporting event.
We chose to eat at Cluckers in Cardinal Towne Shops. There is metered parking on the street which is free after 6 PM. I had a coupon from the city saver book so I knew I could get a little discount and I have been meaning to try this local sports bar. If we’re going to head to U of L soccer game, we may as well get some good fried food! We sat ourselves and were visited promptly by the waitress. She was very patient with my children and nice to talk to about the menu. The menu features your typical sports bar type of food options with lots of appetizers sandwiches, baskets and wraps but it all focuses around chicken. My daughter chose the only non-chicken item! She got the mini corn dog kids meal with homemade chips, my son ordered little chicken sliders with applesauce and they both had lemonade. I decided I should probably go with one of their staples – a chicken tender basket with onion rings. My husband shows a buffalo chicken wrap with chips.
There are TVs all over the restaurant and it was very clean. My kids love sitting at tall tables and they had lots of them throughout the restaurant. It’s definitely a family-friendly place to go watch a game. If you were going with some buddies to watch a game, I did notice they had a really cool personal beer tap that they bring to the tables.
Our food arrived quickly and I was given lots of options for sauces to get my chicken tenders. They did give me the option for it the kitchen to toss the dip sauces on the chicken or to have the plane with dipping sauces on the side. I thought that was different! My chicken tenders were really good and I just love a good onion ring and these were so perfectly crunchy. I chose a Thai dipping sauce and it was sweet and spicy – nice to have different options besides the standard barbecue or honey mustard. My kids ate almost all of their food and my husband really enjoyed his wrap. Everything was fresh, well-cooked and tasty. The waitress checked in on us a few times, refilled our drinks and offered us additional sauces- she was very attentive. The place did start to fill up a little bit later in the evening lots of people coming to watch sports on TV. All in all with the coupon and tip our meal was $30 – I think that is quite reasonable for a family of four in the amount of food that we ordered.
The soccer stadium is not within walking distance with little kids from Cardinal Towne Center so we hopped in the car and took a right on Floyd and found the parking garage for the soccer stadium. Parking was five dollars cash and very convenient to the stadium. The stadium was all abuzz with people coming out from the women’s game and into the men’s game- that helped get my kids all excited to go see their first Cardinals soccer game. The game was scheduled to start at 7 PM . It was YMCA night so we went to will call and my children got in free because they wore their YMCA soccer jerseys and our tickets were just two dollars. Normally children two and under are free, children 3 to 18 are just $3 and adults are $5. The first thing we did was had to the really nice playground adjacent to the soccer stadium and let the kids run off some steam. It is a large playground with lots of things to climb on swings and a smaller area for little kids -very nice.
We chose bleacher seats to watch the game facing east. There are smaller sets of bleachers all around the stadium – it is very casual with no assigned seating. We kept our children with us because they are younger but I did notice that families with older children had let them roam around and have fun with their friends. It was a really family-friendly environment. Since the women played before the men’s game it ran a little long and the men’s game started late. But, my kids liked to see the warm-up the players on the field and even just watching the planes fly by from the airport and the trucks zoom by on the highway.
We enjoyed the whole first half of the game and the halftime show from the marching band. We did not stay for the entire game because it started about an hour late so we headed home after halftime. My kids were really watching the game commenting on the different plays made by the student athletes, the headers, the big kicks and the saves by the goalie. It was great to see them interested and to see what a real game looks like- not just a bunch of little kids running after a ball! Note, they do not have “real” bathrooms, only porta-a-potties but they were clean.
We had a wonderful evening both eating and watching the game down at you The University of Louisville. We are definitely going to add this to our list and make sure that each year we go to a soccer game and I am inspired to check out the other sporting events that they offer at the university.