At a meeting on Tuesday, Birmingham officials debated proposed funding for upgrades to Legion Field, home of the University of Alabama at Birmingham‘s football program.
The matter up for discussion before the Birmingham City Council was a plan to fund future improvements to the facility. A proposed $30-million, five-year capital budget would lead to investments in multiple areas of Legion Field, including fan experience upgrades such as seating and suite improvements.
City Councillor William Parker had proposed, but ultimately withdrew, a resolution that asked for the council’s backing of the budget for upgrades. While some officials sounded open to exploring the plan, they questioned whether the city can fund both Legion Field improvements and a proposed downtown stadium, and also called for more community engagement on the concept. More from AL.com:
This came after Councilor Sheila Tyson and others asked if neighborhood residents have been taking part in the proposed plans. Councilor Hunter Williams questioned whether the city has the money to support Legion Field improvements and a new downtown stadium.
The city of Birmingham has yet to commit funds to a proposed downtown stadium adjacent to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC).
The proposed Legion Field improvements would include $3 million for painting of the stadium; $3.5 million for bleacher upgrades, $3.5 million for restroom upgrades, $2 million for concession and caterer kitchen upgrades; $2.5 million for sky box and suite upgrades; $3 million for resurfacing the tarmac; $3.5 million for light tower replacement; and $4.5 million for parking lot upgrades.
The proposed Legion Field upgrades were part of a larger investment plan involving the city’s Smithfield neighborhood. Legion Field originally opened in 1927.
Image courtesy UAB athletics.