Birmingham’s sports scene will soon have a big new addition.
On Oct. 2, UAB will take the field against Liberty University at the new Protective Stadium at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.
The stadium’s debut will make a huge victory for UAB Football, which was shut down nearly seven years ago before a remarkable – and successful rebirth. But it will also mark a pivotal point for Birmingham, which had been debating the merits of a new downtown football venue for decades.
The nearly $180 million stadium will seat 45,000 fans. It was built by Birmingham’s Brasfield & Gorrie with a number of local firms also involved in the project. In addition to UAB Football, the stadium will host a number of other sporting events, including the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2022 World Games. It also helped lure the Alabama state football championships back to the Magic City on a rotating basis.
Take a first look at the new stadium in the gallery above and look for more coverage about Protective Stadium and its impact on Birmingham at BBJ.com in the weeks to come.
International multi-sport event expected to generate $75 million in economic impact.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (May 6, 2020) – The World Police and Fire Games Federation has awarded the 2025 World Police and Fire Games to Birmingham, Alabama, officials announced today. The decision comes following a presentation to the Federation’s Board of Directors by the Birmingham Bid Committee, which was led by the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau, City of Birmingham, and Jefferson County.
“From the beginning, we were impressed by all that Birmingham has to offer,” said LC Collins, World Police and Fire Games President. “We believe that this city is the whole package – from its venues, infrastructure and history of hosting major events, to its entertainment, dining, and attractions. This is a special place, and we are confident that our first responders, spectators and their families are going to be a part of an event to remember.”
The 2025 World Police and Fire Games, which will take place June 27 to July 6, will feature more than 10,000 first responders competing in 1,600 medal events. The full lineup of sports will be announced in the future but is expected to include more than 55 disciplines, ranging from more traditional offerings like cycling, golf, softball and angling, to unique competitions like ‘ultimate firefighter,’ ‘toughest competitor alive,’ CrossFit, stair climb, and dragon boat. Events will be hosted at more than 35 venues across the city and will be free and open for all spectators.
“Birmingham is thrilled to open its doors to the 2025 World Police and Fire Games,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin. “We’re a city that thrives on the spirit of competition. When our world begins to return to a place of normalcy post-quarantine, it’s events like the World Police and Fire Games that will offer the camaraderie and celebration our residents are currently craving. It will be an incredible way to keep Birmingham’s momentum rolling following The World Games in 2022.”
“It’s exciting to be able to look past COVID-19 to a time when we will be able have events again,” added Jefferson County Commissioner Steve Ammons, “The World Police and Fire Games is expected to have an economic impact of $75 million on the Birmingham region and will showcase our home to over 150,000 people between athletes, supporters and spectators. I’m confident that we will be prepared to host in 2025, especially following our expected success of The World Games in 2022.”
Founded in 1987 as a biennial international sporting event, the World Police and Fire Games celebrates the service and dedication of first responders across the globe, and unites them to participate in a wide range of fierce-but-friendly athletic competitions equally built on competitiveness and comradery.
The 2025 World Police and Fire Games will further establish Birmingham as a premier sports event destination, building on the success of the city’s large-scale sporting events such as the 2017 National Senior Games and The World Games 2022.
“With The World Games 2022 and the 2025 World Police and Fire Games, Birmingham will host two of the top international amateur sports events in a four-year period, further establishing our area as an international sports destination,” John Oros, Jr., president and CEO of the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau, said. “These events and others of smaller size contribute heavily to our community’s economy and underline the importance of travel and tourism in the greater Birmingham area.”
ABOUT THE 2025 WORLD POLICE AND FIRE GAMES
The 2025 World Police and Fire Games (WPFG) is an international sporting event set to unite thousands of First Responders from around the globe who will participate in a wide range of fierce-but-friendly athletic competitions built equally on competition and comradery. A multiweek competition that is free to attend, family friendly and entertaining for all ages, the 2025 WPFG will celebrate the service and dedication of First Responders as each biennial Games has since its founding in 1987. The 2025 WPFG will take place in Birmingham, Alabama – a city whose bright future in the heart of the American South is built on its continued commitment to progress, innovation and leadership. For more information about the 2025 WPFG, visit www.bhm2025.com.
By Tyler Patchen – Health and Technology Reporter, Birmingham Business Journal Feb 15, 2019, 2:56pm CST Updated Feb 20, 2019, 4:36pm CST Birmingham may play host to another major international sports event.
The World Police and Fire Games has conducted site visits of the metro area to possibly play host to the 2025 World Police and Fire Games.
The planned event dates are between June 27, 2025, and July 6, 2025. The World Police and Fire Games averages around 10,000 athletes for the competition, in addition to attendees. The event will contain more than 50 sports and is open to active and retired law enforcement and fire service personnel throughout the world.
D.J. Mackovets, Birmingham Bid Committee, was the head of the 2015 World Police and Fire Games in Fairfax County, Virginia. Mackovets said the same advantages that helped make Birmingham a host for the World Games would be advantageous for the World Police and Fire Games.
Those advantages include the quality of the venues. By 2025, Birmingham will be home to a new stadium at the BJCC and a renovated Legacy Arena.
“I’ve known about the games for a while, so when there was an opportunity to get Birmingham out in the fray, I thought that this was very exciting, certainly (with) what we’ve done with the World Games coming up, the Senior Games, (so) we are kind of versed in that multi-sport world,” said David Galbaugh, vice president of sports sales and marketing at the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Galbaugh said the bid process is ongoing, with interest from several cities. Officials said Birmingham will present a formal bid to host the 2025 edition of the event at the 2020 World Police and Fire Games in the Netherlands.
Previous World Police and Fire Games locations include San Diego, Melbourne, Los Angeles and Memphis.