Muhammad Ali still attracting thousands to hometown - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Muhammad Ali still attracting thousands to hometown

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Nearly a month after his death, Muhammad Ali is still a big attraction in his hometown.

Ali's final resting place is at Cave Hill Cemetery. The day of his funeral, the cemetery, his childhood home and the Muhammad Ali Center were all very popular with fans, and nothing has changed.

Lee Payne is head of security at historic Cave Hill Cemetery, but since the death and burial of Ali, Payne feels more like a curator.

"Because everybody has questions, want to talk to somebody," Payne said.

The day of Ali's funeral, there were thousands of people outside the cemetery. Payne said not much has changed.

"We're having over 800-plus vehicles a day coming into the cemetery," he said. "That's not even counting the people per vehicle."

People like Patrick Meyers from Pittsburgh

"I grew up watching Muhammad Ali," he said.

And Melody Minor from Dallas.

"Next, we are going to go to the childhood home, but after that, we are going to go to the museum," she said.

They are two of the thousands of people a day visiting Ali's gravesite and hometown.

"We had a couple of places that we really wanted to see," Meyers said. One was Churchill Downs, and the other was Muhammad Ali's gravesite and see where he grew up."

And Cave Hill is not the only place seeing an increase in attendance. In 2015, 100,000 people visited the Muhammad Ali Center. In the four weeks since his death, there have already been 25,000 guests.

"The traffic has slowed down just a little, but not a lot," said Pamela Williams, program director at the Muhammad Ali Childhood Home Museum..

Williams says Ali's fans are clearly making the rounds.

"People are coming from all over the world to stop by, to pay tribute, to take pictures."

Meanwhile at Cave Hill, they've brought in extra security.

"We have Metro Police with us 24 hours a day," Payne said.

And even though the gravesite is clearly marked with a temporary headstone, a green line on the road directs fans to the champ's grave.

"It makes it more easier to find Muhammad Ali," Payne said. "Follow the green line, and at the green line is Muhammad Ali."

Cave Hill expects the extra traffic to continue, especially with plans to put up a monument or statue at the gravesite.

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