When I first began publishing ComebackTown ten years ago, comments were often dominated by the Birmingham haters and the so called CAVE people—Citizens Against Virtually Everything.
Birmingham was going nowhere and the Birmingham haters were relentless.
Birmingham’s reinvented itself and by the end of summer the world will know.
Birmingham is about to get the most positive national and international attention since it was first called ‘The Magic City’ over a century ago.
(Of all cities in the U.S.)–Fox and the USFL chose Birmingham
Fox Sports decided to invest $150 million in a new USFL football league, grant Birmingham a team, and select it to host every league game the first season.
That’s 8 teams playing 43 games in a 12 week period between April and July. Gene Hallman, president/CEO of Bruno Event Team said, “Never before had a professional football league played all of its season’s games in one city.”
Fox Sports owns the USFL and NBC is its network partner. All games will be televised on Fox and related networks–14 on Fox, 9 on NBC, 9 on USA Network, 4 on Peacock, and 8 on FS1.
The first game, between the New Jersey Generals and the Birmingham Stallions, will be broadcast both on Fox and NBC.
Most games will be played in Protective Stadium with 8 to 11 games played at Legion Field.
Public officials project that 40,000 hotel room nights will be needed. The Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates an economic impact on our city, county, and region of $15 million in addition to the national publicity.
And it’s a good thing that the USFL season ends on July 3rd since the World Games come to Birmingham four days later.
(Of all cities in the world)–The World Games chose Birmingham
It’s truly remarkable that Birmingham was selected to host the World Games.
This will be the first time the World Games have been hosted in the United States since the inaugural World Games in Santa Clara, California, in 1981.
Thirty-six-hundred of the world’s best athletes from over 100 countries, competing in 34 sports, will converge on Birmingham generating an estimated $256 million for the city with upwards of 500,000 spectators. The games will take place at various venues across the Birmingham metro area—including Protective Stadium, Legion Field, the Birmingham CrossPlex, the Hoover Met Complex, Oak Mountain State Park, and Barber Motorsports Park.
And then there’s the international publicity.
CBS Sports will televise a total of 12 hours of coverage; CBS Sports Network will air one-hour highlight shows after each day of competition over the 10-day event. Additionally, the CBS Television Network will broadcast two, one-hour specials, with broadcast coverage also streaming on Paramount+ Premium.
(Out of all cities in the world)–Condé Nast Traveler chose Birmingham as one of the best places to go in 2022
Conde Nast Traveler, one of the most iconic international travel magazines in the world, chose Birmingham not as one of the best places to visit in the South; not as one of the best places to visit in the U.S.; but as one of the best places to visit in the world.
The magazine cited Birmingham’s abundance of first-class restaurants and hotels, as well as its markets and green spaces.
And Conde Nast is really excited with City Walk BHAM, the new linear park now being developed under the I-59/20 Bridge downtown.
A decade ago Birmingham was in a rut and couldn’t seem to find its way.
Today Birmingham is getting ready to host two hugely visible and prestigious sporting events.
Yes, I guess it’s still possible to be a Birmingham hater.
But who would take you seriously?
David Sher is the founder and publisher of ComebackTown. 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 region.. firstname.lastname@example.org.