Basketball returned to Rupp in October for Big Blue Madness and the Blue and White Game. Photos by Walter Cornett for Ace.
The United Soccer League (USL) announced that the city of Lexington has been awarded a League One expansion franchise. The club is majority-owned by Tower Hill Sports and is slated to kick off its inaugural season in 2023.
William “Bill” Shively, Founder of Tower Hill Sports, who owns the historic Dixiana Thoroughbred horse farm, opened the first Tower Hill Sports complex in January 2019, to provide an outstanding soccer experience for youth and adult players alike. The company’s second complex opened in 2021.
“I’m thrilled that Lexington will now have a USL League One team,” said Shively. “The addition of a professional soccer club will be a true asset for the city of Lexington.”
The club will initially play at a nearby collegiate facility, with terms currently being finalized, and a formal announcement to be forthcoming. Lexington Pro Soccer will be responding to the RFP for the High Street Development Project, with the intent to construct a state-of-the-art soccer-specific venue on the site that could also accommodate festivals, concerts, and other events, adding another entertainment option to downtown Lexington that would sit adjacent to Rupp Arena and the Central Bank Center.
Apart from the stadium proposal, the club is exploring multiple site locations in Fayette County to be developed into the training grounds of the club, as well as the home to their Academy program, further advancing the game in Lexington and Central Kentucky.
“This is an exciting moment for USL League One, the city of Lexington, and Central Kentucky,” said USL President Jake Edwards. “Since League One’s inception, Lexington is a place we’ve wanted to be because of its celebrated sports history and growing appetite for soccer. With tremendous leadership in Bill Shively, Vince Gabbert and Tower Hill Sports, this club will create a new source of great pride for the people of Lexington and the Central Kentucky region.”
Lexington Pro Soccer’s inaugural season will begin Spring 2023.
The Lexington Legends won their third championship in a row, defeating the Long Island Ducks to take the Atlantic League Professional Baseball title … seven home runs and a win of 13-2.
This article also appears on page 6 of the November 2021 print edition of Ace.
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