UAB football is set to play their first game since 2014 on September 2nd 2017. Until then, the players and coaches will be working hard underground and behind the scenes.
New facilities and new mindsets are pushing the team to work hard and stay hopeful – They can thank the fans and the city for some help with that.
When UAB President Ray Watts announced the shutting down of the UAB football program in 2014, the story blazed across the country. There were tears and protests from players, fans and even the unaffiliated.
In July of 2015 President Watts announced that the University will be bringing back the football program. Watts said renewed financial commitment was his reason to allow the program to return. That influx of money can be attributed to supporters and the city of Birmingham.
“The biggest single difference is that we now have tangible commitment for additional support that we have never had before” – President Watts (via USA Today)
With the new budget, UAB is building a 46,000 square-foot two-story building that will hold offices, meeting rooms, locker rooms, weight rooms and a cafeteria all at the disposal of the football team.
Also a covered practice field will allow the team to practice at their own facility even in the case of bad weather. Before, the team would need to travel to other facilities to practice during inclement weather.
Being able to raise more than $40 million in less than a year and a half once the program was announced to be back, screams optimism for the program. The tragedy of the shut down may have been the kick in the butt that the UAB football program needed to get back up and running. Players and fans alike are anxiously awaiting the 2017 return of FBS football in Birmingham.
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