At the University of Louisville’s $18.5 million Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium, Cardinals soccer fans cheer on their men’s and women’s squads under sunny Kentucky skies. What they may not know is that inside the stadium, their players and coaches practice, teach, recruit and train in a state-of-the-art, beautiful environment.
The stadium includes a 15,500 square foot training facility for its soccer teams, trainers and coaching staff. When the university’s athletic department broke ground on Lynn Stadium in June 2013, they turned to Patcraft for a variety of carpet tile and vinyl plank flooring products to help create this unique, versatile training center, says Josh Heird, Assistant Athletic Director, Facilities and Championships at Louisville.
“Patcraft gave us a ton of options,” says Heird, who along with Assistant Athletic Director Rob Brawner, turned to their Patcraft sales representative to help them find the right products for this highly modern soccer complex. Their sales representative “painted a good picture for us” of what different Patcraft products would look like in the space.
The facility includes training rooms, locker rooms, equipment rooms, coaches’ offices, and a recruiting lounge for its men’s and women’s soccer programs. For Louisville, Heird and Brawner selected a variety of carpet tile and luxury vinyl tile in styles that reflected the contemporary, sleek look of the complex.
The carpet tiles are in complementary patterns of black, gray and dashes of the school’s signature Cardinal red. “It definitely took us a couple of tries to get our red, but we did!”
VERSATILE FLOORING NEEDS
For the new facility, Heird felt that the carpet tile needed to be visually appealing, durable, easy to clean and affordable. The training complex’s floors must hold up to footprints from athletes who have just left a sweaty practice or a steaming hot shower, as well as regular traffic in the coaches’ offices. They installed Patcraft carpet tile and luxury vinyl tile in July 2014. “We are really happy with it.”
This is a versatile, often used space. So choosing the right carpet tile and resilient flooring was important, says Heird.
“We had to balance a lot of things. One, this was obviously our newest facility in our athletic department, so we wanted to make sure it looked really nice,” he notes. “We are balancing 60 to 65 student-athletes using this facility every day, before practice, after practice. We needed to make sure the carpet and resilient flooring was durable and cleanable.”
One very important space is the recruiting lounge, where players or coaches might welcome potential students and their families on official visits, says Heird. This gracious room has a more living room-like feel, so they wanted its design elements to have the same quality as a comfortable, private home.
“The recruiting lounge is the centerpiece of the building. We created a space that has a more intimate feel. This is where coaches sit down with families and have a discussion. Our current student-athletes may sit here with our recruits too,” he says. Patcraft LVT in a gray bamboo visual is installed in a large part of the lounge, as food and beverages are served here. “We wanted a hard surface floor in that area” for easy cleaning and to hold up to the wheels of rolling food carts, added Heird.
At Louisville’s athletic department, Heird, Brawner and staff consider many factors when choosing flooring for their new or renovated facilities: budget, style, utility, long-term maintenance.
Because athletes might be tramping throughout the complex on a daily basis, Heird says they considered stained concrete floors at one point. “But they wear cleats, so that was not an option!” he jokes. “Plus, carpet is more comfortable.”
Patcraft carpet tile and LVT not only suited their design scheme, it was affordable. “We had a budget we were trying to stay within. Through all the hallways, we did a great walk-off carpet which helps with tracking in debris which leads to long term loss of appearance. It is durable and easy to clean.” Over the long term, these factors will save money, he notes.
Surveying the new carpet and resilient flooring in the Lynn Stadium training facility, Heird says that everyone is “really happy with it. Everybody involved did a good job. Patcraft put ideas together for us, including visuals, until we found a perfect flooring that appropriately represents the tradition and pride of this University.”
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