The city of Birmingham is seeking to attract sports fans in ways that build upon its rich sporting history. Although Legion and Rickwood Fields have served as venues for around a decade, city council has decided it is time for a major change.
The city will do so with the construction of the new multi-use Protective Stadium, located just outside of Uptown.
“We are excited to welcome Protective Life Corporation as our naming rights partner for the new multi-use stadium,” said BJCC executive director Tad Snider in a press release. “Protective is an organization with deep ties to the Birmingham community, so their participation is going to add huge value to the project. We look forward to the partnership as we continue the development of Protective Stadium.”
The construction of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex is roughly three months underway as recent photographic updates show the baseline elements of the structure in downtown Birmingham.
The stadium will seat roughly 45,000 fans and is slated to be a $174 million project.
In April, the Birmingham-based insurance company Protective Life bought the naming rights for the stadium for $15 million. Under the contractual agreement between the BJCC and Protective Life, the stadium will be named Protective Stadium for the next 15 years.
On Sept. 18, the BJCC unveiled detailed internal and external construction plans for Prospective Stadium. The plans were provided by renowned architectural firm Populus.
The plans notably included the specific seating arrangement for all 45,000 seats. It also included the architectural design and shape of the stadium, which affects and controls the sun glare on the stands.
Ground was broken in late July, and recent drone photos taken by Al.com illustrate the first steps of the construction process. Construction is scheduled to be finished in time for the 2021 football season.
Fortunately for the greater Birmingham area, the stadium to be utilized for more than University of Alabama at Birmingham athletic events.
“This is an exciting day for Birmingham as we mark an important milestone in the stadium’s progress,” Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said in a press release. “With Protective joining as the naming rights sponsor, we are forging Birmingham’s future together. This allows us to be competitive with other cities in bringing in world-class sporting and entertainment events.”
UAB Football will be leasing the stadium for practices and home games in 2021 and the stadium will also be utilized for the 2021World Games. Other athletic events and open-air concerts will also be held in the stadium, however, no other contracts have been issued for stadium usage yet.
No updates on the future of Legion Field in terms of hosting UAB athletics have been made public at this point in time.