$3.6M committed: BJCC, USFL close to finalizing spring pro football deal

.6M committed: BJCC, USFL close to finalizing spring pro football deal
The lighting of the sign at Birmingham’s new Protective Stadium. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

The BJCC and Birmingham area leaders are ready to finalize an agreement to host United States Football League (USFL) games this spring.

According to BJCC Executive Director and CEO Tad Snider, the community has identified and secured the financial commitments needed to host the 2022 inaugural USFL season in the Magic City.

Below is the statement he released Thursday afternoon. 

“The Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC), the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of Birmingham and Jefferson County have identified and secured financial commitments in order to advance the opportunity to host the 2022 inaugural season of the USFL in Birmingham.

Many stakeholders are working diligently toward realizing this tremendous opportunity for our community. It’s involved a significant collaboration among Mayor Randall Woodfin, the Birmingham City Council, the Jefferson County Commission and Commission President Jimmie Stephens, the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau and the BJCC.

Efforts now shift to finalizing agreements for the use of Protective Stadium as the primary venue for hosting USFL games and activities. Protective Stadium was built with the goal of positioning Birmingham to attract this type of world-class sports and entertainment opportunity.

This step is an exciting development and we anticipate a formal announcement soon.”

The Details

Legion Field
Legion Field. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

What does all this all mean?

In a nutshell, if an agreement is finalized, Birmingham will host the new league, whose operations are supported by its broadcast partner Fox Sports to the tune of $150 million over three years.

According to published reports, here is what Birmingham will receive from an agreement:

The details:

  • Birmingham will host the league’s eight teams—including the Birmingham Stallions
  • Protective Stadium will be used  in a “bubble” format for 12 weeks between April and July 2022. 
  • 43 games (40 regular-season, two playoff, and a championship game) at Protective Stadium and Legion Field between April and July 2022

Since the proposal was announced two weeks ago, the BJCC stated it needed approximately $3.6 million to cover the cost of hosting a 43-game season. 

Several groups have committed monies toward the $3.6M goal including  Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau, City of Birmingham and Jefferson County Commission.  The three entities raised $3 million. The BJCC chipped in the remaining amount to meet the $3.6 million goal, according to al.com.

What’s Next?

Birmingham City Hall at Sunset 2021
Birmingham City Hall in 2021. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Everything seems to be in place for an agreement.  In the coming weeks, look for the Birmingham City Council and Jefferson County Commission to take votes at their weekly meetings appropriating the funds.  Then, hopefully, we will see a formal announcement.

Stay tuned.

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Pat Byington
Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.
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