Impact of the Magic City Classic

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Magic City Classic draws more than 100,000 people to the Birmingham area. Anchor Art Franklin visited neighborhoods around Legion Field to see how they benefit from the Magic City Classic each year.

Glenn Hampton says he’s lived in Smithfield for more than three decades.

Glenn Hampton

Every year people gather outside his home for the Magic City Classic.

Hampton says, “We do a lot of cooking, like ribs, turkey legs, chickens and stuff like that.”

This year Hampton bought a food truck for his lady friend Sonja. She’s hoping her menu will bring in classic fans looking for good food.

Sonya Hornbuckle, operator of Sonja’s Kitchen, “[We have] real big hamburgers, wings, fish, barbecue.”

At Eighth Avenue and Second Street West, this neighborhood is right across the street from Legion Field. Some of these homeowners use their yards as paid parking spots.

Robert Patterson, who parks cars during Classic, said, “I grew up around here in the Smithfield area, so I’ve been parking cars since I was like five or six years old, so it’s a regular thing, it’s always exciting, it never gets old.”

Robert Patterson, “I’ve been parking cars since I was like five or six years old.”

Neighbors here say the Classic really doesn’t provide a yearlong benefit but for the one weekend, the Classic crowds do make a difference.

Pattesron said, “The economy is boosted, common people get to make a dollar or two, hey it helps out with bills too you know.” 

There’s another reason Hampton is hoping will help him earn some extra cash during the classic. He’s covered his yard with turf from the historic Legion Field.

Hampton said, “The people that was putting it out there said this the 50-yard line turf right here and put it on your yard and that’s what I did.”

Hampton is hoping that the turf will draw in customers so they could eat Sonja’s cooking.

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