Louisville City FC President Brad Estes is working from home under the current situation, which means balancing the work that needs to be done at the club and making most of family time. | Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The past three weeks have been very unlike business as usual for Louisville City FC President Brad Estes, who instead of overseeing the finishing touches before what was scheduled to be the official opening of Lynn Family Stadium on April 11 is now doing everything he can to make sure the club is remaining on a solid path moving forward, while also balancing out time to spend with his family.
“What I’ve found is you don’t have blocks of time, 10 hours of work and then four hours of social time with your family,” Estes told the Louisville Courier-Journal’s Tim Sullivan. “It’s all kind of spread evenly. You’re kind of always working but also kind of always having family time as well. It’s been good, actually. Obviously, you’re not doing it for the right reasons, but it’s been good for our family.”
For someone as hands-on as Estes has been in leading Louisville’s successful growth off the field, managing the projects that will allow LouCity to remain on course for its bigger goals has been front of mind. In the big picture, he’s working closely in the virtual sphere with Executive Vice President of Development James O’Connor on the club’s new training ground project and plans for the rollout of the organization’s new National Women’s Soccer League team that will kick off in 2021.
On top of that, though, he’s also staying on top of contingency plans and receiving daily updates as the league works toward options for what the season will look like when the Championship returns to action.
“We don’t know where it’s going to go and while we’re very hopeful and positive-minded in thinking we’re going to get all the games in, we’re also not whistling past the graveyard,” Estes told Sullivan. “We understand this is a very serious issue, so we have to think about contingency plans as well.”
The club is also doing everything it can to help keep players and staff in the loop as to what the way forward will look like, too. All players are following protocol and training in isolation, awaiting word on when they might return to the training field with Head Coach John Hackworth.
“There’s really not an operations manual for this,” Estes told Sullivan. “So, we’re just communicating as much as we can as often as we can. We’re on calls three times a week with the league. I’m on calls three times a week with the NWSL as well, just trying to learn as much as we can. A lot of it has to do with the trajectory of the virus and how many new cases. Is the curve flattening? Is it sharpening? Are we going down the hill? Unfortunately, we’re not there yet.”
But even as he manages the day-to-day and the bigger picture tasks that come with running a first-class soccer club, Estes – like many others – has already learned plenty about himself and the way unforeseen events can affect the way we looks at ourselves and the work that we do.
“On a human level, I think I’ve personally learned that I work a lot,” Estes told Sullivan. “I work way too much. And I think that what I’ve learned is that it’s good to take a breath and it’s good to spend time with family. A lot of us who work as hard as we do do it for our families. But it’s good to take a break and take a breath. So that’s been a positive for me.
“Just the business and what have I learned from this? It’s don’t take anything for granted. We’ve had a great run for five years. You think about where we were five years ago and where we are today. We had no team and now we have five trophies and a beautiful stadium and a great fan base. You just can’t take anything for granted because something as vague as this virus can pop up and change everything.”