“Muhammad Ali belonged to the world, but he only had one hometown, and fortunately, that is our great city of Louisville,” Mayor Greg Fischer said according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. “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 is important that we, as a city, further champion The Champ’s legacy,” Fischer added. “And the airport renaming is a wonderful next step.” Ali’s widow, Lonnie Ali, said in a statement that she was happy that the city was changing the name “to reflect Muhammad’s impact on the city and his love for his hometown.”
“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,” she said. “Muhammad was a global citizen, but he never forgot the city that gave him his start. It is a fitting testament to his legacy.”Despite the name change, the airport’s code, SDF will remain the same. Although ALI or LOU may have been cool options, the Courier-Journal noted in another report that those airport codes already exist.