One of the biggest offseason stories revolving around the UAB football program has been what will the future outlook for the Blazers football stadium looks like. In recent months, steps toward moving the team out of Legion Field and into a brand new stadium in downtown Birmingham have been taken with great stride. On Friday, a lease agreement between UAB and the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Authority was approved by the Board of Trustees.
The 20-year agreement will allow UAB to play anywhere between six and 10 home games per season in the still-to-be-constructed downtown football stadium. According to a report from Al.com, each home game will cost UAB $25,000 over the course of the first 10 years, after which point the cost per game will be renegotiated for the remainder of the contract. In addition to home games, UAB will also pay $10,000 for each UAB spring game and will pay $15,000 for any postseason game that may take place in the new stadium (for example, a Conference USA championship game). As part of the deal, UAB will be able to hold up to 20 practices per year in the new stadium at no extra cost, and UAB football schedule will take priority over any other events to be held in the stadium.
The cost of playing games in the newly constructed stadium will run $10,000 higher than what UAB currently pays to hold home games in aging Legion Field. A new stadium in downtown Birmingham is expected to be completed in time for the 2021 season, at which point UAB will officially move its football program to its new home.
UAB has played home games in Legion Field in Birmingham since the program started in 1991. Originally constructed in 1926, Legion Field has long been a staple of football in the state of Alabama that has hosted the Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn as well as professional football teams from the USFL, CFL, XFL and more. Legion Field is the current home of the Birmingham Bowl.