BJCC breaks ground on new 45,000-seat stadium

14 December 2018

A new stadium at the BJCC is expected to be ready in time for the 2021 World Games, leaders say Thursday at the project’s groundbreaking.

New renderings were on display, showing the 45,000 seat open air stadium with state of the art amenities, convention space, and expandable seating to fit 55,000 guests during special events.

Citizens like Jack Phillips have waited a long time to see this happen.

“I’m looking forward to the stadium,” said Jack Philips. “I’m looking forward to going to UAB games and events at the stadium. My only concern is I wish it was an enclosed stadium.”

Leaders from the city of Birmingham, Jefferson County, the state legislature and UAB had a common theme in their remarks.

“All my days as a Birmingham citizen and as you heard from others, this is the greatest example of cooperation and partnership we've seen in Birmingham in many, many decades,” said UAB President Ray Watts.

Watts expressed excitement that the new stadium will be home to UAB football.

Commission President Jimmie Stephens explains it will help attract much more.

“This is a multipurpose venue,” he said. “You’ll see open air concerts. There’s many artists that will not play indoors. It opens up an entirely new venue. It opens up soccer. It opens up new football league. This is going to be an exciting time.”

The stadium has been an ongoing conversation for decades.

“We had two previous groundbreakings and I was present for both of them. it was back when Mayor Langford was mayor of Birmingham,” Birmingham Council President Valerie Abbott recalled.

She said this one will be different.

“The cooperation of the state the county the city, everyone is cooperating with each other- the community, UAB, I could name off 20 entities all cooperating to make this happen,” she said. “That’s different from the past.”

Construction on the multi-million dollar stadium is expected to begin in the spring or early summer of 2019.

BJCC executive director Tad Snider says the goal remains to be ready in time for the 2021 World Games.