Could Birmingham really host the homeless Raiders in interim 2019 season?

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With 71,000 seats, Legion Field could host an NFL team. Field of (football) dreams, y’all! (Photo via Magic City Classic)

Media reports and rumors are circulating that the Oakland Raiders could possibly make Birmingham’s Legion Field a temporary home for their 2019 season home games. Because they were booted from their San Francisco arena after the 2018 season, the NFL team has been searching—unsuccessfully so far—to find an arena to host their 2019 season games. Here’s the low down and what the national media is saying about Birmingham’s Legion Field:

Birmingham Raiders Does Have a Ring To It

The Raiders have already found a permanent new home in Las Vegas, but the stadium is not set to be complete until the 2020 season. Because of this year gap, the Raiders are searching for somewhere to play in the interim.

This gap is where Birmingham City Council president pro tem William Parker is hoping to draw the NFL team to the Magic City. According to a press release, he recently reached out to the Raiders about the possibility of the franchise playing the upcoming 2019 season at Legion Field.

UAB Football
UAB Football at Legion Field. (Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now)

Parker: Birmingham a ‘perfect fit’ for Raider Nation

There’s no shortage of football fans here in Birmingham, that’s for sure. That’s why Parker said he reached out to the team.

“We’re a football town with grit. I can’t think of a better place for the Raiders to land this year. We want to make this happen,” Parker said.“If a college team in Alabama can sell out every game, can you imagine how excited they would be to have a team to cheer for on Sundays? Birmingham is ready to be a part of Raider Nation!”

Birmingham, Alabama, Legion Field
Legion Field improvements total $2,250,000. (Photo via City of Birmingham)

Is Birmingham really on Raiders short list?

At this point, it looks like a long shot— but the national media is taking note of Parker’s optimistic efforts.

Yahoo! Sports reported that Birmingham is working in tandem with officials in Tucson, Arizona to possibly split the 2019 season between the two cities. As a result, the team would play half their home games at Legion Field.

NBC Sports points out that the AAC success could put Birmingham and Tuscon in the running to house the Raiders in 2019. Coincidently, Raiders and the Birmingham Iron share the same team colors.

The story also ran on Bleacher Report and FanBuzzearlier this week.

Raider’s buzz coming at a perfect time with first Iron win

A smidge under 20,000 fans showed up to the stadium for the Birmingham Iron’s inagural shutout game against the Memphis Express. For a newly established Alliance of American Football team franchise—that’s excellent! The large turnout backs up Parker’s point—we love our football!

What do you think? Can Birmingham’s Legion Field support the Raiders next season? Or is this a far fetched pipe dream?

Christine Hull
Christine Hull
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