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BJCC Expansion plans

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I was very supportive of the dome myself, me being a birmingham native, but now I am getting the impression that the dome proposal should definitely be shot down. But I fully agree that an expanded BJCC arena, (probably to 18,500-20,500 seating capacity), an entertainment district, additional hotel rooms, and expanded exhibition space would do very, very well for B'ham and the entire area. I like to use Oklahoma City as a example and what they did to revitalize their city with a new downtown arena and an entertainment district http://www.visitokc.com/mapsprojects.html. This would be a good example for B'ham to use, and I think the public would (SHOULD) support an expanded BJCC and entertainment district. In a matter of time, the Steeldogs are upgraded to AFL, and possibly a NBA or NHL franchise would be soon to follow if an expanded arena, additional hotel rooms, entertainment, and area support were to be offered.

The OKC inspired development was part of the MAPS plan that Birmingham area officials had proposed and was put up for referendum. However, it all failed because of 2 things: 1) It was another all or none type of referendum that is very common in this state, i.e. $1.2 billion tax reform package. 2)We had vocal opponents that claimed they had their own plan called RAPS but they fell back into obscurity once they did their dirty work.

I see we are most definitely on the same page when it comes to the potential that the BJCC Arena has if they would improve it.

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I was originally a dome fan. Of course, if we actually got one, that would be awesome, but as we probably won't get one......

The Plan B would be great, it would spur more growth, and, the thing is, if there is enough growth caused by the Plan B, there might be enough support for a dome. You just have to see how it plays out. Though, whether or not a dome would EVER work is unlikely, but it's still possible in the distant future. Birmingham's personal income base needs to grow before any kind of upgrade of a football stadium is started.

I think what should be done is the city needs to work on inducing a better living in the area around Legion Field. If that works, and the area has gotten better as a whole, and the quality of life is up higher, then they should go forward with structural improvements on Legion Field as far as safety goes. Then, if people feel the area around the stadium is safer, and the stadium is more structurally sound, then there's some room for expansion.

The whole area would benefit much better if the city would work on improving the quality of life around Legion Field.

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I think and have always felt that a dome would be a tremendous waste of the taxpayers money, unless Tom Benson wants to bring the Saints here and foot the bill for half of it.

I believe that replacing the current BJCC arena with one that meets or exceeds NBA/NHL standards and promoting the growth of an entertainment district in that part of town is the best course of action there. Also, like AG07, I think that the Graymont area is primed for a rebirth, and the foundation for that is a complete razing of Legion Field (I know is historical and all, but hey they are replacing Yankee Stadium) to make way for a new 45,000 seat mixed use facility to be used primarily by UAB and Birmingham Southern football teams, as well as continuing to host the events that currently use Legion Field. The facility would also be built to MLS and FIFA capable standards with the hope of drawing more exhibition matches and possibly a MLS franchise as the sport continues to grow in the US. Who knows, maybe keep a portion of Legion Field for a museum, or monument, kind of like that section of fence that is left from Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta.

I envision a light rail connecting the new Graymont Stadium District with the BJCC Entertainment district with a connection with the Birmingham International Airport. At the BJCC stop passengers would disembark there and use the trolley service to reach UAB, 5 Pts South or Lakeview.

Edited by aupatt10

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Looks like the dome plan might be revived again, judging by this article in the Bham news.

Dome gets more discussion

It's not really talking about the dome in particular (for once). I have been saying for the longest that the BJCC board needs to look into expanding the current facilities like the arena and the exhibition halls for the longest. There is no need for a dome at this point. Like for instance Raleigh is a whole new convention center with out a dome in their region which slightly larger than Greater Birmingham. We need to get the wheels rolling on just expanding the convention space that's all and BJCC board is still wrangling and badgering everybody over a damn dome.

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Interesting article from the Birmingham News regarding a Birmingham Councilwoman's consideration to convert Legion Field into a domed stadium as an alternative to the proposed dome and expansion of the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Complex.

http://www.al.com/news/birminghamnews/inde....xml&coll=2

Edited by where_am_I

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Interesting article from the Birmingham News regarding a Birmingham Councilwoman's consideration to convert Legion Field into a domed stadium as an alternative to the proposed dome and expansion of the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Complex.

http://www.al.com/news/birminghamnews/inde....xml&coll=2

I read that. But, something about putting some kinda heavy covering on that old stadium scares me to death.

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I read that. But, something about putting some kinda heavy covering on that old stadium scares me to death.

It would be along the lines of what has been done to Soldier Field in Chicago and Lebeau Field in Green Bay. Also city engineers have determined that Legion Field itself is structurally sound. The only part that wasn't structurally sound was that upper deck that was removed last year. It could be do successful if it was implemented properly, but I would prefer if a private investor other than UAB would contribute to this redevelopment if it did occur.

But the BJCC board needs to focus on upgrading the arena and expanding the exhibition halls with the funds they already possess.

Edited by Leonard23

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It would be along the lines of what has been done to Soldier Field in Chicago and Lebeau Field in Green Bay. Also city engineers have determined that Legion Field itself is structurally sound. The only part that wasn't structurally sound was that upper deck that was removed last year. It could be do successful if it was implemented properly, but I would prefer if a private investor other than UAB would contribute to this redevelopment if it did occur.

But the BJCC board needs to focus on upgrading the arena and expanding the exhibition halls with the funds they already possess.

That's a good idea. Cause, if you think about it, the Arena expansion is more of a sure thing. So, money made from the arena can be put towards Legion Field.

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When will dome supporters get it? If Birmingham needs a dome to be a big boy city, it missed that boat already. Houston is grasping at straws trying to come up with a plan for the Astrodome. Seattle blew up the Kingdome. That tide turned back to open-air, sport-specific stadiums already, or retractable roofs.

A renovated Legion Field with a suspended translucent fabric roofing setup strikes me as a much more unique idea as well as cheaper. Set up a TIRZ and code enforcement to bring some pizazz back to the neighborhood, dedicate some additional attention from city services, sanitation, sidewalk repairs, etc. Try to get the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame to locate adjacent to the revitalized stadium. Try to allow for a f

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When will dome supporters get it? If Birmingham needs a dome to be a big boy city, it missed that boat already. Houston is grasping at straws trying to come up with a plan for the Astrodome. Seattle blew up the Kingdome. That tide turned back to open-air, sport-specific stadiums already, or retractable roofs.

A renovated Legion Field with a suspended translucent fabric roofing setup strikes me as a much more unique idea as well as cheaper. Set up a TIRZ and code enforcement to bring some pizazz back to the neighborhood, dedicate some additional attention from city services, sanitation, sidewalk repairs, etc. Try to get the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame to locate adjacent to the revitalized stadium. Try to allow for a f

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Here, here!!

I completely agree.

Why thank you! Actually I give a lot of credit to the councilor who brought it up, even if she's not an engineer she can get that idea into play, see what develops.

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Why thank you! Actually I give a lot of credit to the councilor who brought it up, even if she's not an engineer she can get that idea into play, see what develops.

Let's hope so, I was almost convinced that the Jeff County Commission and the City of Birmingham had some kind of learning disability.

When are folks going to stop thinking that Larry Langford is some sort of visionary?

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Let's hope so, I was almost convinced that the Jeff County Commission and the City of Birmingham had some kind of learning disability.

When are folks going to stop thinking that Larry Langford is some sort of visionary?

It not that he is some type of visionary, it's just the everybody eles except Shelia Smoot and Larry Langford are effing retards with this small-town attitude towards a county with 600,000+ residents. Those fools needs to be more progressive minded towards moving Jefferson County forward not maintain status quo as usual. Larry Langford was the perfect fit to shake up the political stagnantation of the Jefferson County Commission, and I hope he runs for Mayor of Birmingham next year so Bernard Kincaid can take his inept ass home. Birmingham needs more people who are willing to step up to the leadership role, but are capable of cooperating with others like Langford. He has said consistently that he is willing to work with others if they try to work with him, but it is apparent other than Smoot on the County Commission, and a handful of community leaders nobody else tries to work with him. That in itself is the problem and not him.

Edited by Leonard23

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I should be applying some time toward studying but I'm compelled to leave my two cents first:

(1) A dome at Legion Field is asinine. I appluad Smitherman for her efforts and I think her comments will help spark discussions that could possibly lead to a wonderful revitalization campaign for the stadium (and the surrounding neighborhood)... but if there is even a remote iota of a chance of her plan will be implemented I will be the first to lead the drive against it.

(2) Retrofitting Legion Field does nothing to address the lack of convention space which is one of the primary reasons the BJCC is attempting to build the dome in the first place.

(3) Legion Field, honestly, deserves better... There is such a rich history in that facility it is pratically begging for a museum. Reduce the seating capacity, restore the decorative features that have been obscured by aesthetically poor expansions, use the surrounding lawn for well maicured park space (which can be tied into the nearby BSC campus), revitalize the adjacent neighboorhood, turn 8th and Graymont into gorgeous, landscaped boulevards that serve as grand entrances to the stadium... I could go on for days.

(4) Bottom line: we can think of better. Legion Field should mean much more to this city - and this state - than a dome retrofit and new parking deck (which should be underground anyway).

Edited by Birmingham Bound

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BJCC expansion supporters renew effort to sway public

When are these folks going to ever learn? I am going to write their dumb asses a long e-mail right now telling them to just expand the existing facilities without a stupid dome stadium aspect. What is wrong with these folks.

It may be that their own market research shows that a multi-purpose facility is a key component of the business they need to attract and that, from their perspective, the opposition to "a dome" is ignorant and over-simplified. If that were the case they would hope that by updating and refining their presentation, that people capable of seeing past the "four letter word" might be capable of weighing the benefits of the proposal.

The unfortunate reality is that "dome" is a four letter word and its so much easier to leverage ignorance than to re-frame the issue.

The worst thing that could happen is that they finally get what they need to move ahead, but what they build is so compromised (by increased construction costs, cut budgets, and misunderstanding about the purposes for which it was constructed) that it's obsolete before it opens and becomes an even bigger sore spot. The renderings I've seen make me think this scenario isn't completely unlikely.

At this point, I think all they can do is scrap whatever plans they have and come up with a plan that (1) accommodates the boldest, biggest most optimistic vision for the next 30-50 years (2) constructs everything that is politically feasible toward the implementation of that plan and (3) insures that what can get built positions the BJCC to continue competing for at least half of the convention market, and (4) prepares itself for the possibility of adding in the "missing pieces" without having to completely reconfigure.

I think the plan should include a major overhaul of the coliseum to make it useful for large-scale meetings, NCAA regional finals, big concerts and whatever else is out there. This overhaul needs to brighten the whole experience of going to the BJCC and make the whole center more inviting. It could also include a major architectural statement a la the Memphis Pyramid or LA's Disney Concert Hall.

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It may be that their own market research shows that a multi-purpose facility is a key component of the business they need to attract and that, from their perspective, the opposition to "a dome" is ignorant and over-simplified. If that were the case they would hope that by updating and refining their presentation, that people capable of seeing past the "four letter word" might be capable of weighing the benefits of the proposal.

The unfortunate reality is that "dome" is a four letter word and its so much easier to leverage ignorance than to re-frame the issue.

The worst thing that could happen is that they finally get what they need to move ahead, but what they build is so compromised (by increased construction costs, cut budgets, and misunderstanding about the purposes for which it was constructed) that it's obsolete before it opens and becomes an even bigger sore spot. The renderings I've seen make me think this scenario isn't completely unlikely.

At this point, I think all they can do is scrap whatever plans they have and come up with a plan that (1) accommodates the boldest, biggest most optimistic vision for the next 30-50 years (2) constructs everything that is politically feasible toward the implementation of that plan and (3) insures that what can get built positions the BJCC to continue competing for at least half of the convention market, and (4) prepares itself for the possibility of adding in the "missing pieces" without having to completely reconfigure.

I think the plan should include a major overhaul of the coliseum to make it useful for large-scale meetings, NCAA regional finals, big concerts and whatever else is out there. This overhaul needs to brighten the whole experience of going to the BJCC and make the whole center more inviting. It could also include a major architectural statement a la the Memphis Pyramid or LA's Disney Concert Hall.

Well put. :thumbsup: I don't know why their ambitious are to continue the pursuit of constructing something that obvious everybody is against. Those certain boardmembers need to get with the program or be removed from the BJCC Board all together. There are numerous reasons as to why the structure shouldn't be built, but all they see is the grand vision of something that really obsolete at this point.

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BJCC expansion supporters renew effort to sway public

When are these folks going to ever learn? I am going to write their dumb asses a long e-mail right now telling them to just expand the existing facilities without a stupid dome stadium aspect. What is wrong with these folks.

Seriously. I mean, is it TOTALLY against the laws of Earth to build the dome later? Cause, why not just go ahead and expand the stuff that money is ALREADY appropriated for, and if there's enough support and money for a dome in the future, BUILD IT!

I just don't think they think about the future much.

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BJCC plans go beyond dome, Frustrated officials seek to avoid losing business

It seems that they are wanting to go on with one part of the plan but is (for the time being) avoiding the dome convention-exhibition complex. The BJCC board members are in talks with Bayers Properties (The Summit owner) and 2 other developers on the construction of the entertainment complex adjacent to the BJCC and the 300-room luxury hotel. This push was due to the pulling out of a recently booked convention for next year due to lack of hotel rooms available in the immediate area. There is a need for at least 2,500 room in the area, but currently there is only 900.

However, the dome's biggest proponent, corrupt politician, John Rogers, is still gawking and pushing for the dome. He claims to have a secret weapon that he will use next year. However, let's no forget that he is the main reason why the license registration bill to fund mass transit died in legislature 2 years ago because the Jefferson County delegate wouldn't support his dome bill. <_<

Edited by Leonard23

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Come on Birmingham... let's just get a new hotel built and expand the BJCC. Anything but stagnation. A dome may or may not be pursued later. Let's go for this now... the Birmingham economy needs it.

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whatever happened to the large 600 room or something hotel planned? Man this is the most screwed up process.

What is with the threats? He tried it with the state and it didn't work. Birminghams biggest obstacle...

"Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham, a long-time proponent of the dome, said even if the "d-word" wasn't used at Friday's meeting, he is still committed to building a multipurpose facility and will not push for an alternative.

"We're still on Plan A," he said. "They can call it a Quonset hut, a dome, an expansion or whatever they want to call it."

Rogers said he has a "bomb" he hasn't used yet in the dome debate. Asked to explain, he said there are things the county needs from its legislative delegation that could be hard to get without cooperation.

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whatever happened to the large 600 room or something hotel planned? Man this is the most screwed up process.

What is with the threats? He tried it with the state and it didn't work. Birminghams biggest obstacle...

"Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham, a long-time proponent of the dome, said even if the "d-word" wasn't used at Friday's meeting, he is still committed to building a multipurpose facility and will not push for an alternative.

"We're still on Plan A," he said. "They can call it a Quonset hut, a dome, an expansion or whatever they want to call it."

Rogers said he has a "bomb" he hasn't used yet in the dome debate. Asked to explain, he said there are things the county needs from its legislative delegation that could be hard to get without cooperation.

Dude is a corrupt idiot that has been derailing every legislative bill in the county including one to fund mass transit because nobody wants to build that dome.

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Come on Birmingham... let's just get a new hotel built and expand the BJCC.

One question. Are there private developers interested in building a new large hotel, to either displace hotel rooms expected to disappear (Redmont conversions, for example), satisfy future demand or because downtown hotels are running at high occupancy?

If not, it's because they expect such a venture to fail. Why would I trust the business acumen of Birmingham and Jefferson County representatives over someone betting with their own money?

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