BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A new stadium in Birmingham is now a little bit closer to becoming a reality.
Wednesday morning, the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) received approval from the Birmingham Design Review Committee (DRC) on the external materials for the new Protective Stadium.
New images of the plans were released as the BJCC works with lead architect Populous.
The BJCC will present final designs to the public at the September 18th board meeting.
The DRC approval also means the public will be able to bid later this year on the full construction package.
“It is a tight schedule that why its important to get this positive vote today,” Tad Snider, Executive Director of BJCC said.
Snider was hit with questions. Some questioned the need for more tailgating space for football fans. One fan criticized the design where the corporate boxes are so low on the west side, the home side stadium would only allow for 31 rows of seats and the east side side would have 62 rows.
“When they put those boxes low, they displaced all the people in the western side or the home side and those are the most valuable seats,” Steve DeMedicis said.
Snider said it would be costly to make changes in the design now. “In terms of the base configuration, very little. We are moving to the point where the project will be bid,” Snider said.
“This is a tremendous day for Birmingham, for UAB and obviously our football team. It’s going to put us in the position to have the very best football facilities in all of the group of five,” said Mark Ingram, UAB’s Athletic Director.
Protective Stadium is currently scheduled to be finished ahead of the 2021 World Games and UAB's football season for that year.
Groundbreaking for the $174 million open-air stadium happened back in December.
Protective joins the BJCC Authority, the city of Birmingham, Jefferson County, UAB, and other corporate partners in funding the new stadium.