Birmingham rated one of the poorest sports cities in U.S.

Legion Field has lost its magic


It seems like a distant memory, but in the 70’s and 80’s, Birmingham leaders were plotting to recruit an NFL football franchise to Birmingham.  I don’t know how close we came, but we obviously felt there was a possibility.

Of course, we weren’t successful while other Southern Cities like Jacksonville, New Orleans, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Nashville recruited teams.

The University of Alabama and Auburn also left Birmingham.

Look how far we’ve fallen.

Birmingham has probably had more failed professional football franchises than any other city in America.


  • The Birmingham Americans
  • The Birmingham Fire
  • The Birmingham Stallions
  • The Birmingham Steel Magnolias
  • The Alabama Steeldogs
  • Barracudas
  • Vulcans
  • Thunderbolts

And it gets worse.

In 2011, The Sporting News ranked Birmingham as the 127th best sports city.

And according to annual rankings of the same year from a sister publication of the Birmingham Business Journal, Birmingham ranked as the 154th minor league market.

127th best sports city

154th minor league market

 Now, that’s depressing.

Aren’t we ready to speak with a common voice so we can get our sports reputation back?

David Sher’s goal is to create a conversation on how to fix our fragmented and dysfunctional local government.

David Sher is a partner in Buzz12 Content Marketing and co-CEO of AmSher Receivables Management. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (ONB), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).

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6 thoughts on “Birmingham rated one of the poorest sports cities in U.S.”

  1. Professional sports require significant corproate sponsorships. What little money there is goes to Alabama and Auburn. We keep losing corporate headquarters… there is no financial support infrastructure to sustain a professional team. And just taxing the population more, in the wake of the Jefferson County bankruptcy, is another bad idea.

    1. Warren, thanks for your comments.  But do you know what is amazing?  I understand that corporate sponsorship of the Barons is going very well.  I have high hopes for the Barons and the whole parkside        

    1. Will, all good points.  I’ve taken the liberty to add the three teams you mentioned to the blog.

  2. David- First, I don’t think we are too small to support an NBA team.  However, we would need an investor team to come forward to support the effort.  We would also need to develop a ten-year strategy for securing a team like OKC did nearly 20 years ago.

    Second, we need a strategy/plan to maximize our potential to accommodate amateur sports.  We need a plan like Indy developed back in the 1970’s.  We have terrific facilities, but no one can tell us right now what additional facilities we need to be more competitive.  In addition, I don’t know if we are even bundling our existing facilities to secure more events.  It is not rocket science, but someone does have to take care of it.  That’s my two-cents worth Sir!  Thanks

    1. Charles, thanks for your thoughts. In my opinion, because of our segmented government it is very difficult to put a coalition or the leadership together to make significant progress in everything. Please continue to participate–your feedback is invaluable.

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