Birmingham inks 3-year “SWAC Classic” agreement to play at Legion Field

Legion Field
Legion Field. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

The SWAC Classic is coming to Birmingham’s Legion Field for the next three years beginning this Fall.

Earlier this week, the Birmingham City Council  approved an agreement recommended by the mayor, to play three Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC)  games at Legion Field from 2022-2024.  The deal also includes an option to renew for an additional two-year term. 

“I want to thank the council for working with me to make this a reality,” said  Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin. “Our city is steadily becoming the home to some of the best sport events in the state and the region. This is a win for Birmingham and a win for SWAC.”

SWAC Classic

According to the Mayor’s office the upcoming series of “SWAC Classic” football games in Birmingham will feature Jackson State University Tigers led by FCS Coach of the Year Deion Sanders. The games include:

  • 2022 — Jackson State University vs. University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff 
  • 2023 — Jackson State University vs. Southern University
  • 2024 — Jackson State University vs. Southern University

The SWAC is considered one of the premier Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) conferences in the country. Currently, it ranks among the elite in the nation in terms of alumni playing with professional sports teams.

“The Southwestern Athletic Conference is extremely excited to partner with the City of Birmingham for the hosting of several marquee football games at historic Legion Field starting this upcoming football season,” said SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland.

Birmingham—Sports City

World Games
Photo via The World Games 2022

In the agreement, the City of Birmingham will provide incentives and in-kind services to SWAC in an amount not to exceed $200,000 in year one and $300,000 in years two and three of the agreement in which the game is played at Legion Field Stadium.

“Birmingham is finally coming into its own as a sports city,”  Councilor Crystal Smitherman told Bham Now. Opportunities like the SWAC, USFL, World Games and Birmingham Legion have really put Birmingham on the map nationally and worldwide.”

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Pat Byington
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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