Birmingham City Council gives $5 million to amphitheater project
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Your favorite act or artist may soon have another reason to visit Birmingham. The City Council unanimously approved $5 million in funding for an Amphitheater at the old Carraway hospital site.
City leaders now stressing this will be a huge boost to Birmingham’s bottom line. They believe the 9,000 capacity amphitheater would cause a spike in tax revenue and economic development. The mayor and other city leaders believe the surrounding neighborhoods could also benefit greatly due to their proximity to the new development.
“Having an amphitheater, a football stadium and a basketball arena in one footprint provides artists various options. I think this puts Birmingham on the map. It puts us in the circuit loop conversation for artists when they have their tours and they are considering the south to also include Birmingham in that conversation,” said Mayor Randall Woodfin.
The money allocated to the project comes from an $81 million surplus in the city budget.
In regards to the surplus, Mayor Woodfin said, “I want to thank members of the council for working with me to achieve this major investment in our community. Our responsible budgeting process which saw savings while also a significant boost in tax revenue provided the city with an $81 million surplus. Our priority is to invest in our greatest strengths – our neighborhoods, our employees and our facilities.”
Other projects receiving part of the surplus according to the city include the following:
- 5% cost of living adjustment for city employees ($13.5 million)
- 37 new Birmingham Fire and Rescue Services personnel ($2.45 million)
- Library capital improvements ($3.6 million)
- Park and recreation centers capital improvements ($4.4 million)
- Vehicle fleet upgrades ($8 million)
- Legion Field improvements ($4 million)
- Rickwood Field improvements ($2 million)
- CrossPlex Family Fun Center design and construction (up to $15 million)
Additional funds will boost sidewalk repair and additional neighborhood revitalization, weed abatement and the city’s legal claims fund, according to the City of Birmingham.
Still a few things remain before the project can be considered official.
“Next it will go to the Jefferson County Commission for a full vote. After, hopefully passing the Jefferson County Commission, all the other entities have already voted on it. So the BJCC will go out to the market and get the funding for this amphitheater and then hopefully we will have a shovel in the ground pretty quickly,” said City Councilman Hunter Williams.
At the moment leaders don’t know when construction will begin, but they believe more answers will come in the next few months.
“We will know that later this Spring. At the point at which all the funding has been assembled, the financing can be executed, the construction can start, of course everything kind of pivots off that date. Ideally we are looking at some time in the 2025 amphitheater season,” said BJCC Executive Director Tad Snider.
As soon as the amphitheater comes before the Jefferson County Commission we will update you.
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