Muhammad Ali Center set to begin first major upgrade since openi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Muhammad Ali Center set to begin first major upgrade since opening 12 years ago

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Muhammad Ali Center is celebrating its twelfth year with some major upgrades.

After more than a million visitors, the people in charge of the center said it's time for some housekeeping.

"Just like taking care of your own home, you have to keep it updated and current," said Jeanie Kahnke, spokesperson for the Ali Center.

The exhibits in downtown Louisville have attracted visitors from across the world, all with a unique connection to Ali.

"We stayed an extra half a day just to be able to come here," said John Sadwith, who is in town on a business trip.

Sadwith is a Denver attorney and a lifelong fan of Ali since he met him years ago at a Nuggets game.

"I went down and walked right up to him," he said. "He was very gracious."

Since opening, the center has added several popular, new exhibits, but this will be the first major upgrade.

"It is much more extensive than I would have imagined," Sadwith said. "It's very inspirational and of course brings back a lot of memories."

The new features will include a lower level group entrance, a retail store and a main lobby.

"For the Muhammad Ali Center, this beautiful lobby is the entrance point for visitors, and we do have visitors from around the world and around the country and around Kentucky, so we want it to be upgraded and ready to go for 2018," Kahnke said.

Kahnke said the center will remain open for most of the renovation with one exception.

"Because we have to move everything out of the lobby and that store, the Ali Center will be closed from Jan. 8-14."

The renovation is expected to take three months to complete.

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