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What money does Birmingham have?
The city has been hemorrhaging population to the county for years. Fewer people = lower tax receipts. Smaller tax base = less money to invest in luring potential owners or building arenas.
People aren't moving into Birmingham. They're running away from it as fast as they can.
The city and county have implemented and recalled unconstitutional occupational taxes because they simply have no other way of generating money.
You need upwards of a billion dollars of revenue to fund a pro team, just to open the door. (Stadium, ownership, corp/ticket sales, etc.)
Tall order for an area whose municipalities can't even pay their light bills on time.
This post was edited by NashTide 11 months ago
You're (mostly) talking about the NFL....which Bham doesn't have a shot for.
They share most TV revenues in the NFL....important aspect. As I previously mentioned, a sport like MLB where teams rely on their own TV deals would not come to BHam....since they're isnt enough potential for a good one.
So what other leagues share TV revenue? NHL shares less than any league I believe...so rule them out.
The NBA shares close to what the NFL does....so that may be the only potential answer ( other than a smaller league).
Nashville is on a different level than Bham. No pro sport could thrive there.
This isn't 5 years ago.
Have you been in downtown B'ham this year? As in 2013?
The area around the ballpark is going to explode. Another brewery is already moving in next to Good People. An upscale condominium is going up in the same block as well.
For the longest time people had no reason to come downtown. Now that you've got a ballpark, the domino effect will begin to take place. From February to September people will go downtown for baseball. The next step is to create another downtown attraction. I don't really know what that will be, but the opportunity is there. The downtown area will be revitalized from the ballpark out. Block by block the area will become lively again and it will become a destination for the 18-35 bracket.
If Birmingham is smart, they'll take full advantage of the positive potential and momentum started with the new Children's and the new ballpark. Those 2 buildings are unlike anything else in the southeast. You've got one of the best children's care providers in America along with a ridiculously nice ballpark in the middle of a downtown area. Nashville, Atlanta, New Orleans, Tampa don't have that.
To fully appreciate Regions, you need to visit the parks where the Nashville Sounds and New Orleans Zephyrs(are they still New Orleans or are they now called Metarie?) play. The Sounds would KILL to have a downtown yard.
Don't stop believin'
15 National Championships, 23 SEC Championships, NCAA Record 60 Postseason Bowl Appearances, NCAA Record 35 Bowl Victories
People make the drive when bama is winning, the city hasn't tried basketball which is why i think it will work it's diffrent from anything that's even been attempted in the city...but i do realize that city is broke and a private investor would have to build a stadium
People migrating from the city of Birmingham to the suburbs or the county is irrelevant. A pro team would draw from the entire Metro area, just like Nashville and Jacksonville and Charlotte.
Anybody talking down about the city of Birmingham hasn't been down there in the past 3 years. Record attendance at Barons game is an indication of how far the city has come. We are a sports crazy town, especially relative to other southeastern cities. No doubt that we could support an NBA team. This isn't Mars.
I'm from Bham. I want to see it succeed. But railroad park and Regions Park don't make a successful city.
Everyone is dancing around the issue. Look at population stats. Birmingham had a higher population in 1930 than it does today. 1930!
Folks are moving into Jefferson and Shelby Counties. Jefferson County has no money. That's not hyperbole. It literally has no money.
I appreciate the fact that downtown isn't a deplorable, crime infested rathole anymore. But which employers in the city are going to essentially underwrite a pro team? UAB? ACIPCO? Southern Company?
The corporate dollars aren't there.
And you really think other cities don't have great ballparks downtown? Atlanta (Turner, Phillips, Dome,) Nashville (LP Field,) and Memphis (FedEx Forum and AutoZone Park) all have world class facilities in or very near downtown. Turner and AutoZone Park are 10+ years old and they're both still nicer than Regions Park.
The answer is NONE! Not enough high income earners nor corporate $. NBA is hemorrhaging in Charlotte & NO. Memphis is one bad season from the same. NFL is losing in Jacksonville. All r larger metro areas w/higher median incomes. And before anybody mentions OKC, you must not know how much oil & energy $ that area has. NHL? Ask ATL, Raleigh, & Tampa how that worked out.
Theta you are clueless, perhaps that is why you still live in bham. Keep dreaming bud, because bham will NEVER have a pro team! It's comical how you think that a AA baseball stadium is hot shit, I don't know how your broke city came up with the 64 mil for it but Nashville just built a 635 million convention center "Music City Center". Like I have said just be glad that T-Town is a short drive so you can watch the Tide easily, location to Tuscaloosa is the only thing that bham has on any of the cities you have mentioned.
All accurate. That regions field isn't that nice either. River Walk in Montgomery is ten years old, but blows Birmingham's stadium out of the water.
That train park is ok, but wasn't there just a murder there?
Birmingham is strangled by tiny mediocre suburbs. There is no tax base, there is no credit, there isn't any industry.
I've held my tongue, but Birmingham reminds me of the movie, "Escape From New York." They are basically a penal colony, located in an urban wasteland, that's completely disconnected from modern Alabama.
It is unfortunate, but true. So, I think the city should focus on real issues and not professional sports franchises.
How is it irrelevant? In order to support a professional franchise, the city/county are going to have to fork over money. There isn't a Chesapeake Energy, FedEx, Coca-Cola, etc. to write that big of a check in Birmingham.
In order to fund the team, the city or county need money. Most expansion/relocations in major sports are public/private partnerships. No owner is going to say "Oh, sure. I'll invest 100 percent of my personal capital to move a team to Alabama." The Marlins just built a new stadium and the locals were on the hook for all of it. Every last penny. You have to pay to play.
The city's tax base has eroded because no one can stand to live there anymore. The people left. Years of mismanagement by government will do that. The county can't do it because the county is broke. It just issued the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history 2 years ago. I'm sure the feds and creditors would look favorably on an entity that just defaulted on everything two years ago and suddenly finds hundreds of millions of dollars to lure a pro sports franchise. Nothing fishy at all if the county commission approved that.
Birmingham thinks big but it doesn't act intelligently. As recently as a couple of years ago, you had a mayor whose primary goal was to get the Olympics within a decade and buy a beluga whale because Atlanta had one. Time to think smart. Regions Park is a reasonable step in that direction. Build off that, and within 10-20 years (when financial order is restored) you might legitimately be able to entertain the idea of planning for a pro team.
Today, it's not viable.
Still? I've been here 8 months and will move to the Twin Cities or Chicago most likely in 2014.
The uninformed masses cluttering this thread amaze me.
Regions>>>>any other Southern League park.
Well you talked about bham like you have lived there for much longer. The only uniformed masses I have seen on this thread are the ones that actually think Bham could support a Pro team in the next 10 years. Sometimes the truth hurts. Funny that you are going to move though you just contradicted your entire argument. If you are moving out of bham in within the next year, then how many others are chomping at the bit to move to a bigger or better city? Just a fair warning Wrigley field is probably a downgrade from Regions so don't be too dissapointed when you are watching the MLB instead of AA.
Key words: "Southern League."
Birmingham needs to learn to crawl, then walk, then jog, and then maybe it can sprint. Visions of "Birmingham Olympics 2020" and domed stadiums and NFL/MLB/NHL franchises are not helpful at this point. Just work on the damn basics of life.
I hear how Birmingham is a great sports city. What is this based on? Sports TV ratings? Can't be based on attendance at any actual sporting events held in the city. Hell, Birmingham's TV ratings are great for everything, especially reality TV. Wonder why that is?
Agree. Ever think the TV ratings are so high because there is nothing going on in the city so people sit at home and watch TV? Other cities have much more to offer in terms of entertainment so they are more likely to leave the house and miss a game that their team is not playing in.
Just to add to the who has what downtown, in 5 years Atlanta will have an updated Jerry World downtown along with the College Fball HOF, huge new Civil Rights museum and all the other new museums/hotels/etc that have popped up around Centennial Park the last 5 years (and a great arena in Philips). All within a 4 block radius.
It's not even recognizable compared to 10 years ago.
People laugh complain about Braves/Hawks attendance.......the Braves average 27-30K a night. That's generally 20-25K week nights and 35-45K on weekends. Could Birmigham draw that on a consistent basis? The Hawks average 15K a night.
Again, I don't know the answer, but that's a big task, and that is just comparing it to lukewarm atlanta attendance.
And adding to Nash's point, Atlanta has corporate sponsorships with giant Fortune 500s based in town (UPS, Delta, ATT, Aflac, Home Depot, Coke) and an owner who is about to spend $800M of his own dime to build a stadium. Does Birmingham have that capability?
I'm not doubting I just don't know.
This post was edited by Brian Henry 11 months ago
I don't think you can compare Birmingham to a Nashville or Atlanta. NYC, LA, etc. are tier 1 cities, the big boys. Tier 2 cities I would think include Atlanta, Nashville, Austin, Charleston, etc. I would put Birmingham as a Tier 3 with cities like Savannah, Memphis, Richmond, etc. Tier 4 would be cities like Mobile, etc.
At least that's how I look at it.
None - I like B'ham but any pro-sports franchise would be a train wreck. My friends in B'ham don't even find the time to go to one Alabama game a season, let alone a pro team.
I've lived in B'ham and Atlanta for almost equal number of years. The only major gripes I hear about the ATL is traffic and my small town friends saying it is too big. ATL has awesome Food, Sports, Music, and Nightlife, etc. Some of the burbs' have great downtown squares, like Decatur, 4 miles from Midtown / Downtown. It has a pretty rich history as well and how it has been shaped. I do think it probably grew too fast 80's - 90's which has attributed to some bad infrastructure planning.
B'ham has some really dynamite restaurants for the size of the City but I think I simply like it because it is close to T-Town. I've been out and back to see the "new" Downtown a few times which is cool but has a long way to go.
Funny that Atlanta is listed as the 33rd most populated city at over a half million but I drove by the Grady Hospital Sign in the ATL that listed near 5-6 million. I think ATL will be Tier 1 (If it's not already) soon for the international business and attraction to other industries. I noticed that a lot of the major Hollywood and Foreign Film studios plan to build here.
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