The Louisville Urban League is angling for athletics to be a considerable part of the West End portion of the city’s economic future.
This became evident recently when the Louisville Metro Government reportedly said it will provide millions of public dollars to help fund the development of a 4,000 seat indoor and outdoor track and field facility in West Louisville.
The venue beat out three other proposals to transform Heritage West in September. The other projects were a $240 million global biotechnology research park; Heritage Gardens, an agriculturally centered project that would have cost as much as $178 million; and the Louisville Cooperative Grocery, a cooperative grocery store plan that was nixed by its developers before the city chose a proposal.
Sadiqa Reynolds, president of the Louisville Urban League, said the project is about more than just sports.
“You’re talking about people moving in and out of the community,” Reynolds said. “Even more, this is about economic impact. The idea that you would bring this kind of facility into this part of the city and then we would then be able to compete on a regional level.”
Reynolds said the $30 million project would generate revenue from organizations such as the NCAA and the Indianapolis-based USA Track & Field organization.
The development agreement also requires the urban league to apply for state tourism incentives in the next 45 days and provide proof of financing for the indoor track and parking areas by Dec. 31.
It also sets goals for work on the project that includes 20 percent minority participation for all contractors and five percent for women-owned companies; and hiring Louisville-area residents for at least 75 percent of all project jobs.