BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Big plans are underway for Birmingham’s new stadium, but after the celebration and the dirt tossing, why do city leaders believe it’s really going to happen?
The groundbreaking of the new stadium this week is generating a lot of buzz for the northside. We’ve seen similar groundbreakings before in Birmingham that never produced anything.
In 2009, then-mayor Larry Langford and others broke ground on a dome project that was never built. Before that, in the late 90s, the Metropolitan Area Projects Strategy, or MAPS, failed to build a dome as well.
Birmingham City Council President Valorie Abbott has seen them all.
"This is my third groundbreaking. This one is going to stick and the reason is because of teamwork,” Abbott said.
Some feel Uptown and Top Golf laid the foundation for the new stadium development.
Surrounding neighborhoods like Druid Hills are hoping to see investments as well. Druid Hills used to be a vibrant part of north Birmingham. But today, you’ll find empty storefronts and abandoned homes.
Neighborhood president Amie Evans is pushing for growth. Evans is hoping the new stadium and the old Carraway hospital development project will help bring her neighborhood back to life.
"We are just hoping everything positive will come out of this. We know that everybody is not going to be happy but we hope that overall it will the best for all residents and the city,” Evans said.
Evans says a traffic analysis is supposed to be done to try and alleviate some traffic headaches for the surrounding neighborhoods.
Construction of the stadium is supposed to start next spring. Officials are hoping its finished in time for the 2021 World Games.