Final designs are in for new $174 million Birmingham stadium

Final designs are in for new $174 million Birmingham stadium
Final designs for the Protective Life Stadium have been approved and construction can begin in hopes the project will be complete in time of the 2021 World Games. (Populous)

Designs are done on the new $174 million Protective Life Stadium that will soon dominate the eastern edge of the BJCC campus in downtown Birmingham.

Project architect Populous presented the final designs to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex board of directors Wednesday, a week after the Birmingham Design Review committee approved materials and other components of the plan.

“I’m happy to be able to present these designs to our board,” said Tad Snider, executive director and CEO of the BJCC Authority. “Each step in this process brings us closer to a completed stadium. The team at Populous are industry leaders in human-centered design and have done a wonderful job with this project. They’ve designed Protective Stadium with a clear understanding of what has worked well – and what hasn’t – for other facilities around the world.”

Exterior designs include lush landscaping and focus on connecting the new stadium with surrounding facilities like the BJCC, Uptown Entertainment District and Topgolf. Inside amenities will include modern concession areas, restaurants and bars, suites and premium club lounges.

Kansas City-based Populous has designed more than 150 college stadiums and the one for Birmingham incorporates that experience.

“We are building the next-generation stadium designed for the 21st century fans,” said Jim Swords, Populous principal architect on the Protective Stadium project. “We are facing a shift in what fans want out of their ticketed experience. For today’s sports consumer, it’s all about the experience, which is exactly what Protective Stadium will provide.”

The designs were met with enthusiasm.

“Populous has met and exceeded expectations at every turn, and we look forward to bringing our shared vision to life with them and all of the local partners on the project,” said Dennis Latham, BJCC Authority board chairman. “We are ready to move forward and continue with the rapid progress we have made thus far.”

UAB will make the new stadium its home field, moving from Legion Field.

“This is a monumental day for UAB Football and the entire city of Birmingham,” said UAB coach Bill Clark. “Protective Stadium is a huge step in our vision of making this program a national contender every single year, and we would like to thank everyone who has made our future home possible. Birmingham is growing together and adding a world-class stadium in the heart of downtown will provide incredible value for our entire city.”

The BJCC Authority, the city of Birmingham, Jefferson County, Protective Life Corporation and UAB are providing the primary funding for the Protective Stadium.

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