ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a more prosperous Birmingham.
Today’s guest blogger is Terance Perine. If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.
The new Protective BJCC-UAB Stadium is not being built for the common man or woman.
Everyone—including me–is excited about our new football stadium.
But we’re about to get it wrong—really wrong—and we need to act before it’s too late.
No one seems to have asked for changes in design—maybe no one’s paying attention or they don’t know the details.
Our new stadium represents a new Birmingham—and we shouldn’t settle for a poor design that doesn’t serve the average citizen.
Only 2,500 good seats on home side
The problem is that the press box and the VIP/Corporate Suites are down low and this doesn’t leave room for adequate home side seating.
There are only 31 rows of seats on the home side. The visitors’ side has 60 rows of seats and all the visitors who sit in the visitors’ side seats will be roasting and staring into the sun.
There are lots of seats in the corners and end zones—but no one wants to sit there.
If I define good seating on the home side as those seats between the 20 yard lines and on rows 6 through 31—there will be only be 2,500 good seats.
We’ll be building a stadium with a capacity of 45,000 and yet there will be only 2,500 good seats on the home side.
This is worrisome since UAB Football has sold 10,000 season tickets and many loyal UAB fans won’t have good seating options.
Vestavia Hills High School has more good home side seats.
The corporations and elite will have the best views—while most of the rest of us will be stuck in the corners, end zones, or in the sun on the visitor’s side.
Fans at the Magic City Classic won’t be happy.
The Birmingham Bowl could be negatively affected.
And certainly no potential pro-team would welcome the proposed layout.
Stadium not visible from I-59/20
Also, since the press box is being built so low, the stadium won’t be viewable from I-59/20.
Being highly visible from I-59/20, this stadium could become a symbol of our City much the same as Vulcan. Why hide our new stadium?
Birmingham’s going to carry the burden of having the strangest football stadium ever built.
When I take my family, where am I going to sit?
Am I going to be forced to sit in the end zone, the corners, or on the visitors’ side in the sun? I’ll feel like I’m being sent to the back of the bus–and I won’t be alone.
This is a stadium problem, but it is also a social justice problem. Birmingham has come too far to be set back.
The solution is simple–add more home side seats and push the press box up higher. That’s how most stadiums are built.
We need community involvement and media coverage.
When citizens stick together, the leaders are forced to listen. Please report your concerns to the media and share on social media.
We in Birmingham can do better than this.
For more details, please check out our website: www.BadStadiumDesign.com
Terance Perine played Football at Auburn and at Jacksonville State. His father, James Perine, was a coach for 32 years at Vigor High School in Mobile. His oldest son, Lamical Perine, is on the Maxwell Award Watch list this year and plays football for the University of Florida. And his youngest 5 year old son is President Austin, world renowned homeless activist and super hero that was featured on CBS Nightly News.
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David Sher is Co-Founder of AmSher Compassionate Collections. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (REV Birmingham), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).
Invite David to speak to your group for free about a better Birmingham. firstname.lastname@example.org