Proposed downtown Birmingham stadium faces disputes

Proposed downtown Birmingham stadium faces disputes

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The day after Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin called for spending $90 million on a downtown stadium over 30 years a dispute has developed over the project. Woodfin on Good Day Alabama said the stadium will be a plus for the Magic City. saying, "If we want to be competitive as compared to tourism, sporting events, all types of things to attract people to our conventions, then you have t invest in your current infrastructures."

The breakdown has the BJCC Authority paying $10.7 million of the annual debt. UAB would pay rental for football games and the corporate community would pay for naming rights on the stadium, which combined would total about $4 million per year.

Birmingham is expected to make $3 million from lodging tax and its annual debt payment 30 years. Jefferson County promised  $1 million over 30 years. A car rental tax, which the Jefferson County legislative delegation would have to pass would generate $3.5 million 30 years. Birmingham representative John Rogers is holding it up.

"We got folks getting $150-200 a month water bills. They can't afford it. So why not use that $36 million, redirect it to help folks pay for their high sewer rates." Rogers said.

Rogers, who supported a domed stadium in the past, says he wants voters to decide if they want money spent on the stadium or to help people with their utility bills and neighborhood revitalization.

Mayor Woodfin says the stadium will lead to improved neighborhoods.

"The most important part is what it generates for the city. It gets us to where we can fund our priorities which is neighborhood revitalization," he said.

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