Looks like we’re going with: You have to spend money to make money.
On Tuesday the Birmingham City Council approved a “resolution of intent” that supports a new stadium, along with an expansion and renovation of the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center. Total cost of the proposed project is $174 million.
With a 7-to-0 vote, the council approved financial support for the project and to the tune of $90 million to be paid over 30 years. Councilor Lashunda Scales did not vote, and Councilor Sheila Tyson did not attend the meeting.
Paying For The Stadium
No funding was allocated at Tuesday’s meeting. According to the resolution, before funding is approved for the project, conditions must be met. They include these contingencies:
- The city council approves and enters into a mutually acceptable agreement with the BJCC
- The BJCC completes a debt offering in 2018 to provide funding for the facility
- Construction begins on or before Dec. 21, 2018
There’s the city’s money ($3 million per year for 30 years), but what else will it take to make this proposed $174 million deal happen?
A proposed car rental tax (a projected $3.5 million per year for 30 years)
Money from the BJCC Authority ($10.7 million per year for 30 years)
Money from the Jefferson County Commission ($1 million per year for 30 years)
Money from UAB ($4 million per year for 10 years via sposorships and/or naming rights
UAB would also rent the facility on a longterm basis, according to the BJCC
According to ABC 33/40, Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) wants to divert those funds towards the county’s sewer debt. Yeah. There’s that. Jefferson County has been out of bankruptcy for four years, and we are still reeling from it.
Birmingham, now that the city is (almost) all in with a new stadium and and a renovated BJCC, do you believe we have to spend money to make money? And, if we do make money, we will pay off our sewer debt? Improve our neighborhoods?