The final piece of the Louisville Urban League Sports and Learning Campus opened Friday with the ribbon cutting of the Humana Outdoor Track & Field.
The project cost $53 million, and the Urban League will need to pay back a $10 million loan to a group of local banks. A bond from Louisville Metro Government and donations from foundations and groups like Humana rounded out the funding. The Urban League and Metro Government began the project in 2018.
The indoor portion of the facility opened in February of this year. Louisville Urban League President and CEO Sadiqa Reynolds said this center has already done a lot for the community by bringing track meets and events to that part of town.
“We’ve had a lot of activity here at this facility so it’s really been a wonderful treat to be a part of this project, to lead this project,” Reynolds said. “Now, to stand here, ready to open, even our outdoor track and field, we’re just so excited.”
Reynolds credited Humana with financial and logistical support.
“What got this built is people who are from different backgrounds and different worlds coming together for a common belief and believing in a cause and believing in the advancement of our communities,” Alan Wheatley, retail segment president for Humana, said. “It was Sadiqa’s passion for West Louisville and advancing West Louisville in ways that folks hadn’t thought of before that struck a chord with me.”
Another supporter, David Jones Jr., spoke at the ribbon cutting.
“The first question was would it get done, and Sadiqa is a get-it-done person, and she built a team of experts of knowledge and of capability around her,” Jones said. “One of the things I had the great blessing of learning from my parents is when you come upon a project where passion and confidence are united, you should jump in.”
Jones and his wife Mary Gwen Wheeler made a million dollar donation to the project.
Reynolds said the facility won’t be limited to track meets. People have already started coming at night to walk the track, and local health organizations have held blood and bone marrow drives at the center. Reynolds says that serves as a proof-of-concept for the space.
“It’s doing exactly what we said,” Reynolds said. “Economic drive, people coming in, eating. […] We wanted to make sure those disposable dollars, this disposable income was being brought in and being spent.”