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Future of Legion Field following new downtown stadium opening

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 3:22 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Magic City Classic kicks off again Saturday at Legion Field. It’s a tradition that fans love, but with a new stadium in downtown Birmingham, is it worth all the money to maintain the Old Gray Lady?

It costs the city of Birmingham nearly $1 million to maintain Legion Field each year, but even with the new $174 million dollar new Protective Stadium downtown, many believe the city needs to continue to keep Legion Field up and running.

Jimmie Lee Hughes of Birmingham backed his RV into place near Legion Field, getting ready for the tailgating later this week. “Here at Legion Field, we got plenty of space where everybody can come in and tailgate that come from all over the country. Down there at Protective Stadium, they got a nice stadium, but they got nowhere to park,” Hughes said.

Monday is the last day on the job for Birmingham City Councilman William Parker. He has been a major proponent for continuing to use Legion Field for major events in the future. “Legion Field is going to continue to play a part in the city’s future, as it relates to Magic City Classic, as it relates to other major events - whether it’s concerts or soccer events,” Parker said.

Parker is leaving the city council, but other members remain supportive of keeping Legion Field in operation, despite the financial cost. Fox Sports is negotiating with Birmingham about bringing the old USFL teams to the city. “Contract that has been presented to us by Fox Sports - it’s clear we are going to have two stadiums to host them. We will need both venues,” Hunter Williams, Birmingham City Councilman said.

Those who love Legion Field want to see the city put more funds into the stadium. “Do a little bit more to it. People are from all over and they have been doing this for years. They will continue to do it because there is nowhere else to go,” Hughes said.

The city of Birmingham uses part of a $3 lodging tax to help maintain Legion Field.

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