Boxing legend Muhammad Ali’s name will soon adorn the main airport serving his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
The Louisville International Airport will be renamed Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport, city and airport officials announced on January 16, 2019.
“Muhammad Ali belonged to the world, but he only had one hometown, and fortunately, that is our great city of Louisville,” said Mayor Greg Fischer.
“Muhammad became one of the most well-known people to ever walk the Earth and has left a legacy of humanitarianism and athleticism that has inspired billions of people. It important that we, as a city, further champion The Champ’s legacy, and the airport renaming is a wonderful next step.”
Ali’s widow, Lonni, endorsed the decision, saying, “I am happy that visitors from far and wide who travel to Louisville will have another touch point to Muhammad and be reminded of his open and inclusive nature, which is reflective of our city. Muhammad was a global citizen, but he never forgot the city that gave him his start. It is a fitting testament to his legacy.”
The name change aligns with a new initiative called Lean Into Louisville, which seeks to confront issues of discrimination and inequality, as well as the city’s desire to promote more Ali-related tourism.
“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,” said Karen Williams, president and CEO of Louisville Tourism.