Sporting events bring spectators, wallets to Birmingham area

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - It's a big sports weekend in Birmingham. Thousands of fans have been packing the BJCC downtown for the boys and girls high school basketball championships. But that's not the only game in town this weekend.

To the fans, the noise of the crowd is the sound of a great game like Carver-Montgomery vs. Lee-High in Huntsville.

To the city of Birmingham, it's the sound of cash registers ringing and the sound of a little bit of help in plugging the city's $77 million budget gap.

"That's ideal, because the more we have venues here in Birmingham, then it's beneficial to the city," said W.J. Maye, president of the Birmingham Board of Education. "That's why we'd like to keep this tournament here so people come in here, spend their money, have a good time, and enjoy themselves."

Faced with losing the Super Six football Championships last year, the city was able to hold onto these basketball championship games in a move that not only helps the bottom line, but serves as a motivator to city students with several Birmingham high schools advancing to the final round.

"Children in the city of Birmingham need the opportunity to be seen, and this affords them that opportunity not only in Birmingham, but all over the state," Maye said. "So that's good for the city."

"It's very important for the city, we need to keep this in the city," said AJ Davis, a Ramsay High School parent. "Need to have things folks can come and enjoy without going so far. Plus, the city needs growth so its very very important we keep it here."

Fans were also in central alabama for something other then hardwood. In Pelham, hundreds of fans are in town for this weekend's SEC hockey tournament.  Two very different events but both with a positive impact on the area's bottom line.