Birmingham Iron, city leaders optimistic as fate of AAF hangs in the balance

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Birmingham Iron has made an impact on the Magic City, drawing between 13,000 and 15,000 fans a game.

But that’s inside Legion Field.

Outside the stadium, in the Graymont Neighborhood, there’s another impact. Workers can be found throughout the week scraping up trash and debris from the sidewalks as the whole community gets ready for game day. 

I really like [having the Birmingham Iron here], says Willine Body, the President of the Graymont Neighborhood Association. I really love it being here. In the community and the neighborhood.

But these are uncertain times. Statements made by officials with the Alliance of American Football (AAF) suggest that if they can’t strike a deal with the NFL to become a full-fledged developmental league, then the AAF, and subsequently the Iron, could fold. 

The Birmingham Iron has a game here this week against the Atlanta Legends and that’s what we’re working on here in Birmingham, says Joe Pendry, the Iron’s GM. Pendry tells CBS 42 that the league is handling the dispute, and his only concern at this time is football. 

Birmingham City Councilman William Parker agrees and thinks this back-and-forth is just for show. 

Football is loved by everyone, says Councilman Parker. The Alliance of American Football needs the NFL, the NFL needs the Alliance of American Football, and it’s just a matter of posturing.

As workers continue to get the Graymont Neighborhood looking crisp and clean for game day, Body is hopeful that the Iron will stay — for the community’s sake. 

It changes the whole atmosphere, and it gives the neighborhood something to look for, says Body. 

The Iron will host the Atlanta Legends at Legion Field Sunday at 3:00 P.M.

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