Louisville native Joey Wagner, owner of J Wagner Group, along with Deuce Brand would travel to the famous (or infamous depending on what you've heard) Bourbon Street to host a Final Four party for the loyal fans of the Louisville Cardinals and Kentucky Wildcats that followed their team to New Orleans. The Battle of the Bluegrass Final Four Bash took place at 10 pm the night prior to Saturday's Final Four game between the in-state rivals at the club 711 Bourbon Heat, located in the Heart of the French Quarter on Bourbon Street. This venue would serve as the ultimate party spot for all of the Cards and Cats fans to celebrate this rare occurrence of their meeting in the Final Four to go to the championship. Oh, did I mention there was no cover ALL NIGHT? (Hint, hint, 4th Street).
If you weren't a resident of New Orleans just enjoying a routine Friday night on Bourbon Street, you were a fan proudly baring red or blue, and I don't mean Buckeye Red or Jayhawk Blue. Cards and Cats fans flooded this historical street with a sea of red and blue. L's were being raised, 3 goggles were going up, trash talk was exchanged, and every 30 seconds you heard an, "Ohhhhhhhhh" followed by a blended, mixture of Cards and Cats chants, each side trying to outyell the other. Despite the Big Blue Nation's reputation of traveling very well, and in huge numbers at that, it was the Card Nation that would outnumber and own Bourbon Street Friday night.
It was a rainy night on Bourbon Street, but that wasn't enough to stop the party at 711 Bourbon Heat. It featured a bar (of course), as well as a courtyard patio on the first floor, but the real party was upstairs. As soon as I reached the top of the stairs, the scene changed completely. Just think of a club scene you would see on TV or in a movie, with a red or blue only dress code. Lights were dim, strobe lights were flashing, the music was cranked to the max, and people were dancing like no one was watching. The music, courtesy of DJ Rocky and DJ Snow, mostly consisted of hip hop/rap music, which helped create a wild, live, fun environment. The second floor also featured a bar with a Cards and Cats logo above it, VIP tables, and a balcony that overlooked Bourbon Street with a fantastic view. From the balcony you were able to see the newly painted red and blue Bourbon Street from a higher perspective, as well as throw beads to (or at, if you prefer) the people passing below, which is more fun than one might think.
711 Bourbon Heat's Battle of the Bluegrass Final Four Bash served as the absolute best place for a Cards or Cats fan to kick off the start to an unforgettable, historical weekend. All of the hype, excitement, and anticipation of this game helped build a GREAT atmosphere to party and celebrate for both fan bases. Despite the extreme intensity of this in-state rivalry, Cards Nation and Big Blue Nation was able to coexist and have fun in the same place at the same time with no hostility. And they said Cards and Cats fans can't get along. You would've almost thought everyone forgot about the game the following day…almost.
Photos Courtesy of Louisville.com