Gene Hallman to receive ASHOF 2022 Distinguished American Sportsman

Gene Hallman ASHOF 2022 Distinguished American Sportsman. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

If you have attended a sporting event over the past three decades in Birmingham and throughout the state of Alabama, there is a good chance Gene Hallman and his crew at the Bruno Event Team managed the event.

Recognizing his impact on sports in this state and the nation, the Alabama Sport Hall of Fame (ASHOF) is honoring Hallman this weekend as their 2022 Distinguished American Sportsman.

Before the big ASHOF induction and awards ceremony, we caught up with him at a gathering of the media. 

80+ Employees and Events

Regions Tradition 2021.
Regions Tradition 2021. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

First, some background on Hallman.

In 1995, Gene Hallman and Ronnie Bruno established the Bruno Event Team. From a small local company, it has grown into one of the largest sports event management companies in the country with 80+ employees in nine offices throughout the United Statesand Bermuda! Bruno Event Team manages many notable sporting events, including:

Highlight of Career

Gene Hallman ASHOF 2022 Distinguished American Sportsman. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

When asked about his thoughts on the honor from ASHOF, Hallman was gracious and humbled.

“This is the highlight of my professional career. This is the finest state Sports Hall of Fame in the country. Just walking around this beautiful facility and seeing the names will put anyone in awe. And to some way be with this facility is a very special moment in my life.”

On being the recipient of the 2022 Distinguished American Sportsman honor:

“It’s an esteemed company. With people like Bob Hope, President, George H.W. Bush.  Then you’ve got Roy Kramer and Mike Slive, two SEC commissioners that I’ve worked with very closely over the years on any number of their championships. And of course, my partner Ronnie Bruno is an American Sportsman. I’ve been working with him for almost 30 years. 

I came here 30 years ago, and did not know one single person. Not one. This community helped me feel so at home.”

Credits Volunteers, Staff, Supporters and Public

Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. (Bruno Event Team)

Hallman credits the people he has worked with over the years for his success —volunteers, supporters, sponsors, public officials and sports fans. 

“When I look back over it all — there are literally 1000s and 1000s of volunteers. Hundreds of 1000s of spectators who attended our events. We’ve got sponsors and the public sector—elected officials who supported all of our events. I am very fortunate to surround myself with great teammates.”

Next Level

With the spotlight on Birmingham, this Spring and Summer because of the USFL and The World Games, Hallman is grateful to be a part of taking the community to the next level. 

“I have been very fortunate to be involved. It’s great to watch our community go to the proverbial ‘next level’ in the realm of hosting sporting events.”

A Thankful Community

On behalf of many in our community thank you Gene Hallman for taking the Magic City and the state to the next level —with class.  That’s why you deserve the honor of Distinguished  American Sportsman.

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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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