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NWSL expansion team named Proof Louisville FC in nod to bourbon industry

Louisville will be hoping this ‘neat’ name comes with a ‘smooth finish’ in the NWSL.

The newest expansion team in the National Women’s Soccer League now has a name, and it’s one with a tie to a popular Kentucky drink.

The Louisville team set to join the NWSL in 2021 will be known as Proof Louisville FC, a name that provides an intentional nod to the local bourbon industry, the club confirmed Tuesday.

“For us, the bourbon industry is a big thing here,” club president Brad Estes told the Courier-Journal. “It’s a huge component to our economy. But this is not a name that is specifically tailored to bourbon. It defines our community, where we are at this stage of our life cycle as a city. We’re proving every day that we’re growing and that we belong in the upper echelon.”

“When you look at the definition of the word ‘proof,’ it talks about resiliency,” he added. “It talks about strength.”

Kentucky is known as the birthplace of bourbon whiskey within the United States, and 95% of the world’s bourbon comes from the Bluegrass State, according to the Kentucky Distillers Association.

The name Proof Louisville FC was chosen out of “probably 100 names,” Estes said. News of the name first leaked earlier Tuesday when Louisville Business First discovered filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the Proof Louisville FC name.

The Louisville expansion team was announced last month and a search is underway before the team prepares to take the field in 2021.

The name will surely offer an opportunity for plenty of whiskey-related puns, as Louisville Sports Commission head Karl Schmitt made clear to local media Tuesday.

“I think it’s neat, pun intended,” he said of the team name. “Three fingers neat.”

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