With the destruction of the Georgia Dome, UAB football program’s comeback, and the World Games coming in 2021, talk of an open-air stadium in Birmingham is circulating more than ever. Could it happen sooner than we think?
Two plans in the works…
About a year ago, the BJCC released a master plan with intentions to renovate and expand the Legacy Arena. The open-air stadium north of Uptown would contain 45,000 fixed seats with an additional seats expandable to 55,000 seats.
The plan, developed by Kansas City firm Populous, was intended to enhance the BJCC’s regional competitiveness.
However, no progress has been made on the plan yet.
Other ideas for a Birmingham stadium include updating UAB’s Legion Field, which is particularly intriguing as UAB Football gains traction.
The Alabama Sports Foundation comments
In a recent interview with WBRC, Gene Hallman (Executive Director of the Alabama Sports Foundation) commented on the stadium’s progress.
“It is amazing to see something that is relatively new as the Georgia Dome come down in a matter of seconds. It shows that communities throughout the southeast and the country are in effect in an arms race when it comes to facilities.”
A dome isn’t under consideration for Birmingham, but an outdoor stadium seems more likely.
“Something that would be very relevant to UAB football, the current events that we do like the Magic City Classic and the Birmingham Bowl. So, it would be a welcome addition to the facility offerings that we have here for sporting events in the greater Birmingham area.”
Hallman is part of the outdoor stadium advocacy and he thinks the incoming Birmingham administration just might be on board.
“The BJCC authority is leading the effort to get a new facility approved and built. You’ve got a new mayor of Birmingham that’s taking office next Tuesday. I think right after he takes office, you’ll see a lot of activity. The private sector is on board. I think most of the public sector is on board,” Hallman added.
With the World Games coming in 2021, a stadium could be important for the city of Birmingham. Hopefully we’ll see some progress being made soon!