BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – No matter how long you’ve been attending events at Legacy Arena, you’ll have a new experience when you enter the renovated building this fall. Virtually every part of it will be changed.
The arena, originally built in 1976, remains under construction and is expected to be completed by late October or early November. But some of the facility’s features are already starting to take shape. That’s rewarding for BJCC executive director and CEO Tad Snider.
“Being able to take a fixture that’s served the community as long as it has and extend it another 30, 35, 40 years – that to me is really exciting,” Snider said.
Snider, a Birmingham native, has seen the many events the arena has hosted over the years – from NCAA tournament games to the SEC men’s basketball tournament. BJCC leaders wanted to be competitive for major sports events again, so before they started construction they consulted with SEC leaders on the changes that would need to be made. Snider said the new arena will address the vast majority, if not all, of the those changes.
“For those who are making decisions about where basketball events and the tournaments are placed, it’s highly competitive,” Snider said. “You’re competing against other cities with arenas of varying ages, but they have certain features that are expectations today at those events.”
The changes you’ll see, which include improved concessions, regular and premium seating, technology improvements and more, have already paid off. NCAA tournament games will be played at the arena in 2023 and 2025.
“Really, everything in the building as a part of this project gets touched. It really has gone down to the concrete structure and is being rebuilt,” Snider said. “So for all practical purposes, in the same footprint, within the same building shell we’re going to have a brand new arena.”
Construction crews recently gave CBS 42 news reporter Conan Gasque an inside look at some of the features of the new arena, including improvements to concessions, seen in the video link above. Click on the video links below for a look at seating, the new suites and club level along with lobby renovations.