Later this week, the Jefferson County Commission could approve a $30-million contribution to a new Birmingham stadium that would host college football.
Area officials have been considering the construction of a new outdoor stadium in downtown Birmingham. Slated for Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex property, the venue would be designed to accommodate large outdoor events and multiple sports, including soccer and University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) football. It is estimated to have a fixed seating capacity of 45,000 that would offer the room to be expanded for larger events.
Jefferson County took an early step toward contributing to the project’s construction cost on Tuesday, when its commission’s finance committee approved $30 million in funding for the plan. That sets it up for a vote before the full commission on Thursday. More from AL.com:
The proposed $174 million open air stadium was designed by Kansas City, Mo design and architecture firm Populous. It was included in the BJCC’s master plan released in 2016.
[ Commissioner David] Carrington said the BJCC has held multiple meetings over the last few months with the commission, city of Birmingham, UAB, Birmingham Business Alliance, state lawmakers and other parties to look at the feasibility and desirability of the project.
“The commission had already decided what commitment we would make” so the body decided to bring it to a vote, he said.
For the county, the funding commitment would call for annual payments of $1 million from its economic development fund over 30 years. Thus far, the City of Birmingham has not committed funding for the proposed stadium. UAB football currently plays its home games at Legion Field, which opened 1927.
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