Baseball Diamonds & Football (Futbol) Fields: Kentucky Sports Teams
It may surprise many outside The Commonwealth to learn that Kentucky is more than a diehard college basketball state and home of the Kentucky Derby, the greatest two minutes in sports.
From the 1800s all the way to the current decade, the state has boasted professional or semi-professional football, baseball, basketball, soccer and hockey teams. Currently, Kentucky is home to semi-pro and minor league teams that play baseball (in Lexington, as far back as the 1800s), men’s and women’s football, soccer, and wrestling.
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
A summer day at the ball park is an old-fashioned but still popular traditional American pastime. The typical schedule runs April to September, and family-friendly promotions often include discounted tickets or refreshments and interesting entertainment. You can watch any of these Kentucky minor league baseball teams take the field during the season:
- The Louisville Bats, formerly the Louisville Redbirds in 1982, is a farm team for the Cincinnati Reds (formerly the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals); home games are held at Louisville Slugger Field; and individual game tickets are $10-$18; kids 12 and younger eat free at Sunday home games.
- The Lexington Legends, a “stachetastic” farm team for the Kansas City Royals; home field is Whitaker Bank Ballpark and single game tickets range from $5 to $23;
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods, an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays; home field is Bowling Green Ballpark where “it’s just #funner,” and single tickets are $7-$26;
- The Florence Freedom, of the independent Frontier League, holds home games at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center Stadium in Florence; tickets are $10-$15 and newsletter subscribers get a $2 discount and promotional notices.
Moving from baseball diamonds to football fields is the Kentucky Football League. Considered a semi-pro, professional development league, the KFL’s season begins in late May and concludes in mid-August. The league is divided into two divisions: the Bluegrass teams are Kentucky Storm (Turner Station) and Derby City Thunder (Louisville). Playing for the Commonwealth Division are the Kentucky Patriots (Somerset), the Fort Harrod Pioneers and the Davies County (Owensboro) Spartans. KFL season tickets may be ordered online.
Females Fond of (Tackle) Football
The Derby City Dynamite of Louisville, who play in the Women’s Football Alliance, has a position for you! Although try-outs are limited to once a month, no experience is necessary and athletes must be at least 17 to play. Games are held on Saturdays, the season from April to June and home field is John Hardin High School in Elizabethtown. Season tickets are $35, individual game tickets run $5 - $10, age 12 and under are free.
The Louisville City FC is Kentucky’s only fully professional soccer club.Referred to as LouCity, is a member of the United Soccer League, now sanctioned Division 2 by U.S. Soccer, only one level below Major League Soccer. LouCity plays home games at Louisville Slugger Field but aspires to build a soccer-specific stadium in Louisville. The team’s season runs from May through July. Game-day 30-minute clinics are held two hours before home games; general admission tickets are $7.
The Derby City Rovers, originally known as the River City Rovers, was founded in 2010 to provide a platform for elite players from the Louisville area who sought to advance from the youth game to the professional ranks. The Youth Academy, for players ages 5-19, focuses on developing boys and girls from all backgrounds to their highest potential, nurturing their love of the game from the first kick of the ball to the end of their youth soccer career. The PDL team is the flagship of the club, competing in the highest amateur league in North America and providing a platform for the most talented players to reach the professional game.
And Wrestling. Really?
Heck yeah. Ohio Valley Wrestling is where to find up and coming pros and future WWE superstars. The training facility is in Louisville and tickets for OVW TV tapings are $5 at the door.
Make plans to explore Kentucky and cheer on some of these local sports teams while you’re here!