Sports in Louisville, Kentucky facts for kids
Sports in Louisville, Kentucky include amateur and professional sports in baseball, football, horse racing, horse shows, ice hockey, soccer and lacrosse. The city of Louisville and the Louisville metropolitan area have a sporting history from the mid-19th century to the present day.
Horse racing and equestrian events
Churchill Downs is home to the Kentucky Derby, the largest sports event in the state, as well as the Kentucky Oaks, which together cap the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. Churchill Downs has also hosted the renowned Breeders' Cup on eight occasions, most recently in 2011, and will next host the event in 2018.
Besides racing there is the World's Championship Horse show. This show is mostly for Saddlebred horses and is held in conjunction with the Kentucky State Fair. This is the premier event of the year for Saddle seat Pleasure and Equitation.
Since 2007, Louisville has been host to the annual Ironman Louisville triathlon in August, one of only eight Ironman events in North America. In 2009, 2,352 participants finished the course.
In early 2012, Louisville became the first American city to ever host the UCI Masters Cyclocross World Championships, and the following year became the first American city to host the Masters, Juniors, U23, and Professionial Elite Women's and Men's UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, the biggest races of the fastest growing form of bicycle racing. The event was held at a new permanent cyclocross course at Eva Bandman Park.
Louisville long ago hosted teams in the National Football League and Major League Baseball and fielded a strong franchise, the Kentucky Colonels, in the American Basketball Association before the ABA–NBA merger in June 1976. The Colonels won the penultimate ABA championship in 1975, defeating their archrival, the Indiana Pacers, in the 1975 ABA Finals.
The Kentucky Colonels were the winningest team in the history of the American Basketball Association, but the Colonels were not included in the ABA–NBA merger in June 1976. A later team with the same name played in Louisville in the ABA 2000 league but moved to Murray, Kentucky in 2007 before folding. Louisville and the corporate community had also attempted to pursue the Vancouver Grizzlies franchise before their ultimate move to Memphis in 2001, as well as the Charlotte Hornets franchise, which ultimately moved to New Orleans in 2002 but was revived in 2004 as the Charlotte Bobcats, regaining the Hornets name and the team's pre-relocation history in 2014.
Another soccer team, the Louisville Lightning, played indoor soccer in the Professional Arena Soccer League from 2009 to 2012 before folding. The city was home to two professional ice hockey teams in the East Coast Hockey League, from 1990 to 1994 the Louisville Icehawks, followed by the Louisville RiverFrogs from 1995 to 1998. The city also had an American Hockey League team from 1999 to 2001, the Louisville Panthers.
|Louisville Grays||Baseball||1876–1878||National League||Various|
|Louisville Eclipse||Baseball||1882–1884||American Association||Eclipse Park|
|Louisville Colonels||Baseball||1884–1891||American Association||Various|
|Louisville African Americans||Baseball||1887||League of Colored Baseball Players||Various|
|Louisville Colonels||Baseball||1891–1899||National League||Eclipse Park|
|Louisville Colonels||Baseball||1901||Western Association||Various|
|Louisville Colonels||Baseball||1901–1962||American Association||Eclipse Park and Parkway Field|
|Louisville Brecks||Football||1921–1923||National Football League||Various|
|Louisville Colonels||Football||1926||National Football League||Various|
|Louisville Bourbons||Football||1931–1936||American Football League (1934)|
|Louisville Tanks||Football||1935–1939||Midwest Football League,
Midwest Professional Football League,
American Professional Football League
|Louisville Colonels||Basketball||1947–1948||Professional Basketball League of America||unknown|
|Louisville Blades||Ice hockey||1948–1950||International Hockey League
United States Hockey League
|Louisville Buckeyes||Baseball||1949–1950||Negro League||Various|
|Louisville Alumnites||Basketball||1950–1951||National Professional Basketball League||Unknown|
|Louisville Shooting Stars||Ice hockey||1953–1954||International Hockey League||Louisville Gardens|
|Louisville Rebels||Ice hockey||1957–1960||International Hockey League||Louisville Gardens
|Louisville Raiders||Football||1960–1962||United Football League||Cardinal Stadium|
|Kentucky Colonels||Basketball||1967–1976||American Basketball Association||Convention Center and Freedom Hall|
|Louisville Colonels||Baseball||1968–1972||International League||Cardinal Stadium|
|Kentucky Bourbons||Softball||1977–1982||American Professional Slow Pitch League,
North American Softball League,
United Professional Softball League
|Bishop David Stadium|
|Kentucky Trackers||Football||1979–1980||American Football Association||Cardinal Stadium|
|Louisville Redbirds||Baseball||1982–1998||American Association||Cardinal Stadium|
|Louisville Catbirds||Basketball||1983–1985||Continental Basketball Association||Louisville Gardens|
|Louisville Thunder||Soccer||1984–1987||American Indoor Soccer Association||Broadbent Arena|
|Louisville Bulls||Football||1988–2011||Hearts of Ohio Football League,
Mid-Continental Football League,
Elite Mid-Continental Football League
|Louisville Icehawks||Ice hockey||1990–1995||East Coast Hockey League||Broadbent Arena|
|Louisville Shooters||Basketball||1991–1993||Global Basketball Association||Louisville Gardens|
|Louisville Thoroughbreds||Soccer||1994–1995||USISL / USISL Pro League|
|Louisville RiverFrogs||Ice hockey||1995–1998||East Coast Hockey League||Broadbent Arena|
|Louisville RiverBats||Baseball||1998–2002||International League||Louisville Slugger Field|
|Louisville Panthers||Ice hockey||1999–2001||American Hockey League||Freedom Hall|
|Louisville Fire||Arena football||2001–2008||af2||Freedom Hall|
|Kentucky Colonels||Basketball||2004–2006||American Basketball Association||Louisville Gardens|
|Kentucky Retros||Basketball||2007||American Basketball Association||Freedom Hall|
|Louisville Lightning||Indoor soccer||2009–2012||PASL-Pro||Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club|
|Kentucky Stickhorses||Lacrosse||2012–2013||North American Lacrosse League||Freedom Hall|
|Kentucky Xtreme||Indoor football||2013||Continental Indoor Football League||Freedom Hall|
Sports in Louisville, Kentucky Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.