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Protective Stadium Designs Unveiled

Protective Stadium design rendering

Design details were unveiled Wednesday for Protective Stadium, the upcoming downtown Birmingham venue that will be home to University of Alabama at Birmingham football.

A major component in the larger improvement project for the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex in downtown Birmingham, Protective Stadium has been estimated to cost $174 million. The open-air venue is being targeted for a 2021 opening and will be designed to host multiple types of events, including college football.

During a BJCC board meeting on Wednesday, officials presented the latest design details for the interior and exterior of the stadium, along with a sun study. As designed by Populous, Protective Stadium will feature a capacity of 45,000. Of that total, about 42,000 will be accounted for by fixed seating, with deck, berm, club areas among the other viewing options. More from

Previously, officials said there will be about 45,000 seats available. Now, they say the stadium capacity will be about 45,000. Some areas of the stadium, including the grassy areas, club and deck areas will be ticketed but do not count as seats. There will be about 42,000 physical seats. Some of those seats will be folding seats like those at Regions Field and some will be bleachers.

On both the east and west sides of the lower bowl, there will be 33 rows on each side. The corners of the east side of the stadium are taller than the west side. The west side has an upper deck, where the east side does not.

“We are building the next-generation stadium designed for the 21st century fans,” Jim Swords, Populous Principal Architect on the Protective Stadium project, said in a press statement. “We are facing a shift in what fans want out of their ticketed experience. For today’s sports consumer, it’s all about the experience, which is exactly what Protective Stadium will provide.”

Protective Stadium rendering

The next step in the planning process for Protective Stadium is the preparation of a comprehensive construction package, which will be put out to bid later this year. Naming rights for Protective Stadium were purchased by Birmingham-based insurance company Protective Life, part of a 15-year agreement that was announced in April.

Protective Stadium rendering

Renderings courtesy Populous.

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