Louisville City won the Eastern Conference Championships, earning them a spot in the United Soccer Leagues’ Cup Championship on TODAY -- Monday, Nov. 13 -- at Louisville Slugger Field at 9 p.m. against the Swope Park Rangers, who won the Western Conference Championship. Mayor Greg Fischer has encouraged fans to wear purple today in support of the team. The Coopers will begin their tailgate around 3 p.m. #forthecity
Louisville City Football Club has been building a loyal soccer following over the last few years and that in large part is because of its energetic supporter club, The Coopers. The Coopers started in 2013 before a professional soccer team was even in Louisville. In fact, they were instrumental in bringing soccer to the city in 2015.
“We were reaching out to business members and built up enough demand in the community for soccer,” said Tom Farmer, president of The Coopers.
The Coopers started with about 50 to 100 members, and now have more than 300 paid members but their affiliated and social media reach go way beyond that, says Farmer. And just this year, The Coopers became a purely local partner with Louisville Water.
Farmer says that partnership has been essential to their tailgates, which are held for home matches at the Riverside Parking Cobalt Lot across from Slugger Field. The tailgates start typically four hours before the game, and then The Coopers march together into the stadium for the game. Louisville Water provides coolers and cups at the tailgates to remind people to keep hydrated during the long day.
“We have hydration stations at our tailgates, especially during the summer,” said Farmer. “Soccer fans like to imbibe alcoholic beverages, and we want to make sure that we have enough water to keep people fully hydrated. It’s been very helpful to have that signage there and have the water coolers. Louisville Water ensures that the Coopers are fully hydrated and full of energy when we go into the stadium.”
Farmer encourages everyone to try a match because the atmosphere is like no other. He promises that your first Louisville City match won’t be your last.
“The atmosphere and the energy doesn’t require you to be a soccer fan,” said Farmer. “I myself never played soccer and never attended soccer matches until college and only then it was one or two. I went to my first LouCity match in 2015, and I was absolutely hooked from the get go, and now I’m the president. I use myself as an example of what it can do to you.”
The supporter section is behind the west end goal in section 121-124. Admission to the matches are general admission so ticket holders sit wherever they want but the Cooper’s section is the loudest and nosiest in the stadium.
“The energy level from the supporter section is infectious,” said Farmer. “It reaches out to you and makes you want to go over there and see what’s happening. And regardless of win, loss, draw, you are going to have a good time.”
Volunteers do everything for the group, including organizing the tailgate, making the banners for the games and serving as board members. Membership for The Coopers cost $25, which gets members swag and discounts to local businesses. It also grants members the right to vote in The Coopers’ elections. Farmer says it’s an exciting time to join since the city just approved funding for a soccer stadium in Butchertown for the team.
“We are very excited for the stadium deal,” said Farmer. “The Coopers will play a role in helping to design that stadium, so if you want to have a voice in that, it would be good to get on board with us.”
He also envisions a long-lasting partnership with Louisville pure tap® for the future.
“We are excited to continue and expand our partnership with Louisville Water because it’s been so helpful to us,” said Farmer. “It’s such a friendly relationship, and it just makes sense for us.”
For more information visit louisvillecoopers.com.