Read Time 2 Minutes
The city wants to play ball, ya’ll.
- On Wednesday Mayor Randall Woodfin recommended a $90 million commitment from the city of Birmingham to build a new open-air stadium on property owned by the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center.
- Right now the stadium is estimated to cost $174 million.
- Jefferson County also committed money toward the project recently. They’ve agreed to throw in $30 million.
So many questions.
Are you (the tax payer) on the hook for this thing? Who’s paying for what? Also:
If we get a new stadium, are we going to get another XFL team? Do XFL teams play in the rain? If so, what happens to the cheerleaders’ makeup? This is how my mind works, people.
Let’s take a look at the financial commitments for Birmingham’s proposed football stadium. Woodfin told Good Day Alabama:
“If we want to be competitive as compared to tourism, sporting events, all types of things to attract people to our conventions, then you have to invest in your current infrastructures.”
- The BJCC Authority will pay $10.7 million of the annual debt, according to WBRC.
- UAB will pay rental for football games, according to a released statement.
- The corporate community will (hopefully) pay for naming rights on the stadium, which combined with the UAB rental, would total about $4 million per year.
- Birmingham’s commitment would be $3 million per year for 30 years. The city expects to make $3 million from lodging tax to help with the annual debt payment, according to a social media statement from the mayor’s office.
- Jefferson County promised $1 million over 30 years. This funding is contingent on the project breaking ground before the end of 2018.
- A car rental tax would generate $3.5 million 30 years. The Jefferson County legislative delegation hopes to pass this tax.
What’s The ROI?
Including the entire BJCC expansion (with the new stadium), along with additional outside development around the stadium, the estimated number is:
- As much as $5.5 million per year during the construction phase
- A $9.9 million return on investment in additional revenue for the city per year. after construction
The proposed $174 million open-air stadium is a part of the BJCC’s 20-year master plan that was released in 2016. Mayor Woodfin has noted the new stadium is a pathway to funding economic development of Birmingham’s 99 neighborhoods.
“I think it is time we actually move beyond just talk,” Woodfin told councilors during the meeting.
Lots of if/when/projections here, ya’ll. I didn’t even get into what economists have to say about taxpayer-funded stadiums.
Do you think a stadium is the way to fund the city’s future? Besides UAB, our new soccer team and events, what else are we going to use this thing for?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment on my post or message me via @bhamnow on FB.