BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – With four days until UAB’s home opener at Protective Stadium, we’re getting an idea of the economic impact this will leave on our region. Crews are putting the final touches up while the countdown clock waits for Saturday’s first play.
City and tourism leaders said the game is a steppingstone toward even bigger and better events and attractions. It’s soon to be the Home of the Blazers—and tourism leaders say so much more.
“To say that we’re excited is an understatement,” Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO John Oros said. “You don’t have to have a major league team in order to be major league, and we are, without a doubt, a major league destination when it comes to youth, amateur and collegiate sports.”
That sports destination mentality is something city leaders have been striving to maintain over the years.
“It’s a billion-dollar industry so we want fans to come in all over from the southeast, really across the country to come in, spend money,” Birmingham City Council President William Parker said. “It’s part of our overall strategy to make sure the City of Birmingham is a true sports destination city.”
Oros said more tourism dollars means that more money stays in your pocketbook. Plus, having more visitors will lead to more growth.
“This is going to be a catalyst for new development in the northern part of the City of Birmingham,” Parker said.
Making the Magic City a destination for all to come.
“This is going to be a great experience down here there’s no doubt about it,” Oros said. “It’s cool and it’s first class so that’s all we can ask.”
According to Oros, this stadium can serve as a multi-venue sport facility to put Birmingham’s name in the hat for things like international rugby, lacrosse and major soccer championships. Saturday’s kickoff will start it all off.