|Louisville, Ky. (February 10, 2022) - The Louisville Urban League Sports & Learning Campus, home to the Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center and Humana Outdoor Track & Field Stadium celebrated its inaugural year of operation with a number of successes over the past 12 months. The ASM Global managed facility has hosted 51 track meets and other events since opening amid the coronavirus pandemic in February 2021 and has created numerous opportunities for the local community.
The venue hosted two track meets this past weekend, including the largest event hosted at the facility to date - Louisville Indoor Games - and the PNC Bank Bellarmine Classic. Eastern Indoors track meet, the American Track League's (ATL) indoor meet and the Coach O Valentine Invitational are schedule this upcoming weekend to kick off the venue's anniversary meet. The ATL will bring some of the nation's top professional track athletes to Louisville to compete on Saturday, February 12.
“It’s hard to believe that it has been a year already,” said Louisville Urban League President and CEO Sadiqa Reynolds. “We are so proud of this facility and what the ASM Global team has been able to accomplish in such a short period of time, while still in the midst of a pandemic. We built this facility for community, and community has embraced it with open arms. This is only the beginning of what is possible!”
The Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center is competitively positioned as one of the fastest indoor track facilities in the world and has proven that stance as numerous records were broken in the venue’s inaugural year. The facility has attracted world record holders, Olympic athletes and some of the top collegiate and high school track & field athletes in the nation to participate in events.
“Seeing this facility go from the conceptual drawings to the finished structure to the current programmatic implementation, gives USATF and me, personally, a great sense of pride,” said USATF CEO Max Siegel. “In one year, we’ve seen just a hint of its impact on the track and field community. As a federation, we look forward to years to come with competitive events at every level, and educational clinics with our officials and coaches.”
As one of only nine banked indoor track and field facilities in the nation, the venue has attracted some incredibly high caliber athletes to compete. Some of the highlights included hosting an elite high jumping competition with several Olympians in February 2021, watching multiple athletes clock the fastest times in the nation during competitions at the facility, inviting 10 Olympians to train local athletes during a 2-day clinic in December and witnessing an NCAA record being broken during a University of Louisville track meet this January.
"Seeing the track & field and local community embrace this facility has been a truly remarkable experience for our team," said ASM Global Louisville General Manager Eric Granger. "Working with the Louisville Urban League to bring their vision to life and develop new concepts and opportunities is both rewarding and exciting. We are focused on growth and expanding our event concepts at the venue; our future is very bright."
The University of Louisville, Bellarmine University, Jefferson County Public Schools and local track clubs from across the city. have found a home at the facility to train and compete. Westside Track Club has experienced firsthand the impact of such a phenomenal facility with 150% growth in their program since the venue opened. Training at this facility, a record-high 54 student athletes qualified for the Junior Olympics this summer. Tapping into a renewed enthusiasm across the city for track and field, Westside received an unprecedented outpouring of support and financial resources to enable their athletes to travel to the games.
”The Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center is providing a tremendous avenue for growth through athletics within our community. The facility is quickly growing a reputation for being one of the best in the country and certainly the finest in our region,” said University of Louisville Head Track & Field Coach Dale Cowper. “We look forward to continued growth of Track and Field at this outstanding venue.”
And growth is exactly what is happening at the facility. The 2022 indoor track season is shaping up to be the best yet with 20 track meets scheduled this season attracting athletes of all ages to compete inside the facility.
"In the year since the LUL Sports & Learning Campus opened, there has been considerable interest from local, regional and national event rights holders," said Louisville Sports Commission President & CEO Karl F. Schmitt Jr. "Since February 2021, more than 14,000 youth, high school, college and pro athletes have competed - setting records in sprints, jumps and throws. These events brought athletes, coaches, administrators and fans from 16 foreign countries, nearly all 50 U.S. states, 80 of Kentucky’s 120 counties and every zip code in the MSA. And that's a beautiful thing for our community. This past weekend, our Louisville Indoor Games hosted 800 athletes and 1,000 fans from eight states, making it the largest track and field event held in the facility since it opened.”
But the venue offers much more than just an ideal location for track and field and sporting events. The facility is perfectly suited to host other large events like the Leadership Louisville Luncheon or the Russell: A Place of Promise Homecoming Celebration. The Humana Hub offers space for meetings, corporate board meetings, and break out rooms, while the Fun Zone lives up to its name by offering an interactive rock climbing wall and 4-lane miniature bowling alley. From weddings to birthday parties, family reunions to class field trips, the facility provides it all.
What’s more, the campus is being used to elevate and uplift the Louisville Urban League's work across its five pillars of Jobs, Justice, Education, Health, and Housing. Events and initiatives touching all of these strategic areas have taken place here - whether it's the UPS Job Hiring Fair, a Youth Entrepreneur Showcase, expungement training for lawyers helping with the Reily Rentry Project, after-school programming for young people in grades 3-12, or the Good Food Farmer's Markets, the facility is the perfect backdrop and space to serve residents nearby and across the city. The impact is real.
One of the most unique ways the venue has impacted the community is through its partnership with Thorntons. The retailer opened the first-of-its kind non-profit retail store on the campus in April 2021. The store has a commitment to carrying products from Black-owned companies, hiring nearby residents, and donating 100% of its profits to the Louisville Urban League to reinvest in the League's mission. They do all of this while providing a convenient 7-day a week shopping options - offering items like eggs, bread, turkey meat, snack trays, and fruit - along with fan favorites like hot dogs, fresh donuts, freshly ground coffee, ice cold beverages and FizzFreez.
The facility will switch gears as it plans to host several national recording artists at events later this year in addition to other sporting events. The AAU Cheerleading National Championship is set for May 15, 2022 at the venue and more announcements will be made soon for additional events.
For more information and a complete listing of upcoming events, please visit nortonslc.com.
To Book the Facility: Please visit our website or contact David Patrone.
Upcoming Track Meets: Indoor track season is in full swing and offers everything from youth to professional track meets.
All Events: We are more than just track and field and offer other sporting events, community events, birthday party rentals, corporate events and more.
Download venue and event photos here.