Birmingham votes to market the city on ESPN

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) – Birmingham's annual bowl game, the BBVA Compass Bowl, is just a few days away and  city leaders are planning to set aside money in hopes of making the bowl bigger in years to come.

At Tuesday morning's city council meeting, a four year contract with ESPN regional television to promote the city passed the council with all but one yes vote. The deal would spend a million dollars on marketing over four years, starting with this year's game. It puts Birmingham in the spotlight on ESPN with long shots of the city and feature stories appearing during the game.

The city has paid for the advertising for the past four years during the game, previously the PapaJohns.com Bowl.

The lone 'no' vote was City Councilman Steven Hoyt. Hoyt said at the meeting that he felt it was unfair to give so much money to the larger radio stations and not paying for all radio stations.

Last year's game drew about 40,000 people to the Magic City. City leaders say they hope the advertising will bring more people.

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