State Ok’s new Birmingham 15 Entertainment Districts law

Five Points
Five Points Entertainment District. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

Legislation that would allow up to 15 entertainment districts in the city of Birmingham is now law.

Sponsored by longtime State Senator Rodger Smitherman, the legislation was listed earlier this year as a city of Birmingham priority by Mayor Randall Woodfin and the City Council.

“The world is coming to Birmingham in a few months —we are going to have visitors from all over the world,” Senator Smitherman told Bham Now. “Entertainment districts give us the flexibility, economic development and opportunity that the city needs. It gives us an identity as a destination — a place that offers hospitality and venues that make people want to come back over and over again to Birmingham.”

What’s in the Law?

Alabama Capitol
State Capitol in Montgomery. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

Under existing law, a Class 1 municipality may establish up to five entertainment districts. The new law authorizes the governing body of a Class 1 municipality to establish up to 15 entertainment districts. 

The city of Birmingham is Alabama’s only Class 1 municipality.

What is an entertainment district?

a snifter glass of Avondale Brewing's Miss Fancy's Tripel.
Avondale Brewing Co.’s Miss Fancy’s Tripel will keep you on your toes. (Avondale Brewing Co.)

An entertainment district is a designated area for businesses with alcohol licenses to allow drinks to be taken off premises within the district’s boundaries and during certain hours. 

Presently, the Magic City has carved out four entertainment districts, which are: 

Recently, Entertainment Districts have become very popular in Birmingham, neighboring suburbs and small towns across the state. Since 2020, Hoover, Trussville, Vestavia Hills, Mountain Brook, Homewood and Helena all approved new entertainment districts. Beyond the Magic City, Anniston and Clanton have declared parts of their downtown areas entertainment districts too.

Where do YOU think Birmingham’s next entertainment district should be? Tag us @bhamnow to share your thoughts!

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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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