LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Slugger Field will host next spring’s Atlantic Coast Conference baseball tournament, allowing the University of Louisville to begin the postseason at home with the city and Kentucky hosting the event for the first time.
The ACC announced the relocation of several conference championships on Tuesday, following its recent move withdrawing events from North Carolina over a state law limiting protections for LGBT people. The baseball tournament moves from Durham and will be played May 23-28 at the home of the Class AAA Bats with Louisville as host school.
Louisville has been a frequent and popular venue for the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals have earned top-three seedings and hosted the past two super regionals at Jim Patterson Stadium, drawing standing-room-only crowds to the 4,000-seat facility both times.
Fans attending the ACC Tournament will have more than three times the capacity available at 13,131-seat Louisville Slugger Field, which hosted the 2008 Triple-A All-Star Game. The Cardinals might not have to leave the city during the postseason as they pursue their third College World Series berth in five seasons.
“The city of Louisville knows how to host big events, especially sporting events, and I believe all of the ACC teams will enjoy the experience of playing in a great sports town and in a terrific ballpark,” Louisville coach Dan McDonnell said in a statement. “I’m also excited our fan base will have the opportunity to experience and support the ACC Baseball Championship.”
The ACC set a conference record and tied the all-time mark with 10 teams in last season’s NCAA tournament — including Louisville, which has won the Atlantic Division in its first two seasons as a league member.
Bats president Gary Ulmer said in a release that the club was “thrilled” to host the conference tournament and added, “this is a huge win for our community.”