Birmingham City Council and Jefferson County Commission could set aside $ 1 million for USFL

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (WBRC) – More money could soon arrive to bring a National Spring Football League to play all of their games in Birmingham.

As it stands, a majority of Birmingham City Council is considering recommending allocating up to $ 500,000 to help make USFL in Birmingham a reality, according to City Councilor Hunter Williams. Williams tells us that the funding will come from the city’s hotel surcharge which is reserved for sports and tourism.

“I feel very, very comfortable that we’ll be seeing football at Protective Stadium next spring,” said Jefferson County commission chairman Jimmie Stephens.

The Jefferson County Commission could match the funds, but it is all yet to be voted on next week by local leaders. Stephens says having an entire league to move to Birmingham is a win for the region.

“It puts the head in the beds and the buttocks in the seats. This is something we want to do. We want to show people that Birmingham is a vital metropolitan area and in the future we are offering the best to people who come to visit us, ”said Stephens.

The Greater Birmingham Visitors and Convention Bureau is also planning to help USFL travel to Birmingham by putting up to $ 2 million to help cover the estimated $ 3.7 million needed to cover operational costs. of the league.

“It’s a national exhibition for Birmingham and Jefferson County for our sports facilities. We’re going to have people in Uptown. It will be a great opportunity for local residents to get out in the spring, ”said John Oros, CEO of the Greater Birmingham Visitors and Convention Bureau.

Here is Councilor Williams’ full statement to the WBRC:

“Sport and tourism are an important part of the economic development of Birmingham and Jefferson County. They create jobs and have a positive impact on our hotels, restaurants, retail stores and many other businesses across the region. When we did our part as a city to help fund the construction of the protection stadium and the renovation of the Legacy arena, we set up a neighborhood revitalization fund so that the taxes generated by the BJCC went to the repaving the streets, eliminating the scourge and financing other needs in the 99 neighborhoods. In recent weeks we have had the opportunity to work with Fox Sports to bring spring football to Birmingham.

This proposal is very different from previous efforts to create a viable new football league. For the first time, this effort is supported by the NFL, Fox Sports and NBC, with all first season games and operations taking place in Birmingham. Our city and region will benefit from the enormous economic impact, as well as the visibility around the world, of this effort. After discussions with the administration and a majority of City Council, we plan to recommend and approve the City of Birmingham to allocate up to $ 500,000 to help make this exciting opportunity a reality.

This funding will be made possible through the Birmingham Hotel Surcharge which is reserved for sports and tourism and will be matched by our partners in the Jefferson County Commission. Birmingham is on the move. Our investments in quality facilities are already paying off. We look forward to continuing to develop our city and region through sporting and tourism events that will grow our economy and provide quality venues and entertainment for our citizens. “

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