Bill to fund a new Downtown Birmingham stadium passes House Committee

Bill to fund a new Downtown Birmingham stadium passes House Committee
Proposed stadium for downtown Birmingham. (Source: BJCC)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A critical test for a new downtown Birmingham stadium has passed a House Committee, but it wasn't without protests.

Wednesday the Jefferson County House delegation approved a 3% car rental and short term lease tax.. The money would go towards expanding the BJCC and building the $174 million, 55-thousand seat stadium.

Vestavia Hills Senator Jabo Waggoner said the economic development project would add millions of dollars annually to Birmingham's economy.

Some members of the delegation spoke out against the tax.  Rep. Mary Moore said the economic development for downtown does not lead to investment in Birmingham communities.

Rep. Juandalynn Givan, who abstained, said she was concerned about Legion Field and the Smithfield community surrounding the stadium.

Shouting broke out after the vote. Some yelled at Fairfield Rep. Rod Scott, the only democrat to vote for the project.

The bill now goes to the full House. A vote could come next week.

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