LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The new track and field facility in West Louisville received a $10 million loan from a group of community banks to help fill the project's funding gap.
The Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center, located at 30th and Muhammad Ali, cost $53 million, according to Louisville Urban League President and CEO Sadiqa Reynolds. Reynolds said the Urban League was able to raise $43 million through gifts, corporate sponsorships and tax credits.
"We've raised $43 million because of this community, because of the commitment that this community has made to this part of our city, and because quite frankly this was a smart business move," she said.
To meet that $10 million gap, Reynolds said she called Republic Bank CEO Steve Trager for help.
"When Sadiqa called me, I don't know, two, three months ago, and said she needed help with the last $10 million, I didn't hesitate for a second to call the community banks around this room," Trager said.
"We got this loan closed maybe on a Thursday or something and we had track meets the next Wednesday. I mean that's how tight it was. That's how close it was."
The nine banks are Republic Bank, Central Bank, Commonwealth Bank, L&N Federal Credit Union, Liberty Bank, Limestone Bank, Stock Yards Bank, WesBanco Bank and Wilson & Muir Bank. According to Trager, each bank contributed around $500,000 to $2 million.
The track and field facility held its first event last Wednesday. According to Reynolds, the facility is already booked through March.
"There is no lack of brilliance when you cross 9th Street. There simply has been a lack of willingness to invest in our dreams," she said. "This community has always been promised things that don't turn into anything, and I didn't want to be a part of that."
Reynolds said there will be a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony after the previously scheduled event was postponed due to the weather. A date has not yet been set.