Louisville officials detail security and traffic plans for Muham - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville officials detail security and traffic plans for Muhammad Ali public memorials

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The eyes of the world will be on Louisville, and the city has released plans for how it will handle two days of memorials for Muhammad Ali.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer gave details Tuesday morning about how the city will handle arrangements at a news conference. He was joined by Kelly Jones with Louisville Metro Police and Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau president and CEO Karen Williams. Thousands are expected to attend two large events to honor Ali.

"We're proud and prepared to welcome visitors from all over the world," Mayor Fischer said during the news conference.

Louisville Metro Police will have 1,200 officers downtown to handle traffic and security for Thursday's Jenazah and on Friday along the procession, at Cave Hill Cemetery and at the KFC Yum! Center. 

An Islamic Funeral Prayer service will be held on Thursday for Ali at Freedom Hall. The 30-minute event will begin at noon. The Jenazah will be open to the public with doors opening at 9 a.m. Imam Zaid Shakir, a Muslim American scholar and co-founder of Zaytuna College in Berkley California, will lead the service.

Ali's casket will be present at Thursday's Jenazah, or Muslim prayer service. Preference will be given to those of Muslim faith in getting the tickets. They will open additional rooms at the Expo Center to accommodate additional crowds.

A 19-mile procession is planned Friday morning, as Ali's body makes its way from the A. D. Porter & Sons Funeral Home on Bardstown Road to his final resting place in Cave Hill Cemetery. Ali's hearse will drive past landmarks meaningful to his life including his boyhood home on Grand Avenue.

More than 2,000 media requests have been received so far to cover Friday's memorial.

Friday's memorial is an interfaith ceremony at the KFC Yum! Center downtown is scheduled for 2 p.m. Pallbearers include relatives and famous friends including actor Will Smith and boxer Lennox Lewis. Eulogies will be given by Ali's wife Lonnie, actor Billy Crystal, TV personality Bryant Gumbel and former President Bill Clinton.

Officials are encouraging drivers to plan their routes downtown and to be patient.

Ten ticket windows will open at 10 a.m. on Wednesday at the Yum! Center for people wanting to obtain tickets. Lines start at 6 a.m. People will be turned away if they arrive earlier. 

Anyone who has a ticket to the funeral at the Yum! Center can park for free at the Kentucky Exposition Center beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Friday. Shuttle service will be provided for people with tickets between the Kentucky Exposition Center and the KFC Yum! Center. Shuttle service starts at 8:30 a.m.

People with tickets can also take TARC for free to get to the KFC Yum! Center. On Friday, there will be traffic control for the procession, as well as security at Cave Hill Cemetery and at the KFC Yum! Center.

The Visitors Bureau is helping people to secure rooms in town, but officials say the number of rooms is nearing capacity already. Williams says more people are expected to keep arriving. She says people can call 888-568-4784 for help with finding a room. People can also go to www.GoToLouisville.com and click on the "all reservations" tab.

Williams also asks people to help visitors and offer to answer questions. The Convention and Visitors Bureau will also have volunteers in orange t-shirts that say "I Am Ali," who can answer questions and help visitors. 

For more information about the upcoming memorial services, parking, shuttles and bus routes, click here.

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