First, there was the rebirth of UAB football. Now there's the growth stage. At the center of that stage is a new football stadium.
On Tuesday, the Birmingham City Council passed a 6-3 vote to commit $3 million annually over a 30-year span to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center. Among other initiatives, the project will include new football stadium in the downtown area. According to a UAB press release, the Blazers will be the primary tenants once the stadium is built. Construction on the project is slated to start at the beginning of 2019 with completion set for July 1, 2021.
AL.com reports that the efforts are part of a "20-year, $300 million master plan includes the construction of a $174 million open-air stadium, a Legacy Arena makeover and an outside piazza renovation."
"We continue to be encouraged by the steps taken by both state and local leadership in relation to the proposed renovations at the BJCC," UAB athletic director Mark Ingram said. "Mayor [Randall] Woodfin, the City Council, Jefferson County, the BJCC, state legislators and community leaders have worked together to make this happen. The renovations will continue to grow our city and we are excited to be a part of it."
However, nothing is official yet. The city plans to support the project via "occupational tax or another unspecified tax." The city-supported bonds are expected to run just north of $46 million and said bonds must be issued before the end of the year.
UAB went 8-5 in 2017, its first season back from disbanding its football program.