Jefferson Co. commission disagrees over possible funding for UAB - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL


Jefferson Co. commission disagrees over possible funding for UAB football

(Source: WBRC file video) (Source: WBRC file video)
JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - For now, the Jefferson County commissioners disagree over helping out UAB with an on-campus stadium. 

Earlier this week UAB President Dr. Ray Watts announced football, rifle and bowling would be reinstated.

UAB Athletic Director Mark Ingram is launching a fund raising effort to improve athletic facilities. While Ingram supports an on-campus stadium, he is not seeking funds for an estimated $75-million project. This is critical because Watts made it clear any operating deficit for the sports would have to be filled by private donations.

Jefferson County Commissioners are glad to see the return of football. Many see it as a plus for the university and the county but when it comes giving money UAB is not a priority right now.
On Thursday Jefferson County Commissioner Jimmy Stephens agreed football will be plus but he is not willing to commit any funding the county's refinanced sales tax, which is estimated to generate $36 million for the county. Stephens said the county promised lawmakers they would spend the money on paving roads, maintenance and economic development projects. 

Commissioner David Carrington argues that an on-campus stadium will generate tax dollars for the county much like Regions Field and Railroad Park did.  

"It merits review of what a stadium does enough for students to walk to and families to tailgate to create the university experience to merits serious review," Carrington said.

Commissioner Sandra Little Brown said the commission needs to sit down and decide what they can do for UAB.  New UAB Athletic Director Mark Ingram hopes to reach out to county officials some time in the future.
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