Mayor Fischer celebrates decision to rename Louisville airport to honor Muhammad Ali
1/30/2019, noon | Updated on 1/30/2019, noon
“Certainly, Muhammad faced discrimination and the impact of inequality, and he wasn’t shy about sharing his views on those challenges,” the Mayor said. “Lean Into Louisville embraces the Champ’s values of Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect and Spirituality and our city value of compassion. And if he were here, I feel certain that the ‘Louisville Lip’ would be a part of this conversation.”
Championing The Champ also is consistent with the work that the Brookings Institution has identified as beneficial in growing Louisville’s global identity. Louisville Tourism confirms that the city stands to reap economic benefits by boosting Ali-related tourism, much as the city has done in establishing Bourbonism as a global tourist experience.
“Louisville Tourism applauds the proposal to reflect the legacy of the city’s most famous son,” said Karen Williams, its president and CEO. “Adding Muhammad Ali’s name to the Louisville International Airport reminds travelers from around the world that our city is a place to have a touchpoint with one of the most recognized icons of all time.
It supports current marketing efforts to engage in Ali’s ‘Footsteps of Greatness’ as a reason to inspire visitation to Louisville.” Donald Lassere, president and chief executive officer of the Muhammad Ali Center said the center, “is proud of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority for their forward-thinking decision regarding the airport’s name change.”
“During the week between Muhammad’s passing and his memorial service in 2016, our city witnessed firsthand just how much Muhammad Ali meant to the world. Visitors flocked to Louisville from nearly every region of the globe to pay their respects to their champion,” Lassere said. “At the Ali Center, we experienced a tremendous increase in visitors, and the city received continual global media coverage. We are confident that with this announcement, Louisville will continue to be seen around the world as a bold, compassionate city, and prompt an increase in visitors to all our great attractions.”