Domed stadium work slowed

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Work continues toward building a $600 million domed stadium for Birmingham, but the BJCC board slowed down the process a little Friday.

The board put off a vote on sending out requests for proposals for a program manager. BJCC executive director Jack Fields says the program manager is critical to help keep the cost of the multipurpose facility down. "So they must be an entity that is knowledgeable of construction facilities of this nature. There is a high level of expertise that will be needed for the construction manager," Fields said.

Plans for a new entertainment district continue to go forward without a private developer. A Memphis developer failed to get enough financing for the district which will be built next to the domed stadium. The BJCC board plans to develop the project on a smaller scale, about $60 million than the original plan, called the Forge. "I think that is better. We need to have control on what goes on on our campus, and the best way is to have total control is to make sure you own every aspect of it," Field said.
Still the domed stadium got a bit of a boost Friday. Bob Coffen, president of the Birmingham Boat Show, was the first client ever to be signed by the BJCC some 39 years ago. Coffen thanked the board for their support and fully endorsed the domed stadium project. "It will mean money. Starting with money from the convention and travel show industry which fills hotel rooms and build the tax base. That is important to Birmingham," Coffen said.