After decades of discussion and debate, the City of Birmingham took a big step forward today in building a domed stadium. The city council approved $8 million annually in funding for a dome to be built adjacent to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.
With that, Mayor Larry Langford announced on Paul Finebaum’s radio show this afternoon that the groundbreaking would take place on July 21, and that a Major League Soccer team has already shown interest in establishing a franchise at the facility, along with purchasing naming rights.
The dome, with a $630 million price tag, would be completed in 2014. The next step would be the BJCC paying architects $666,000 a month and acquiring land.
Meanwhile, the city has yet to pass a budget for fiscal year 2010, 14 days after the start of the new budget year. In dispute is the city’s financial health: either $26.4 million in the black or $17 million in the red.
Let’s hear what you think: Will the dome bring new jobs, new events to Birmingham? Will it be completed on time and on budget? Is this the right move for Birmingham given the current economy? Sound off in the comments …
Update: Feedback via Twitter so far …
- BrennaWilson: For it, if it’ll bring fun things here. But I think its a poor choice w/our current money sit. RT @WadeOnTweets Dome: for it or agin’ it?
- StaceyShirley: is it a dome deal or a dumb deal?
- AABrasfield: nope. #dumbdome
- manup4: dome=opportunity. Let’s stop fighting advancement.
- mjoeirish: Bham dome. Check unemployment %age. You are right on bad timing.
- filamentartists: Not big on LL, but dome is good! $$$’s are now going to be circulated back into the local economy. Nothing bad about that!
Feedback via Facebook …
- 4:05pm July 14
visionland 2, electric bugaloo! because inclement weather ruined so many stallions games… scrushy get the naming rights? hooboy.
- 4:06pm July 14
I’d be more impressed if he could land a Premiership team, but think of the travel expense…otoh, I hear Newcastle United is for sale, and there’s a Newcastle right around Fultondale – they wouldn’t have to change the name ;]
- 4:08pm July 14
Alright – they can hire all the laid off county employees! Who’s fanny are they pulling the $8 million from? That’s a lucrative fanny…
- 4:16pm July 14
I’ve said it before – this could be a money maker if they focus not on pro ball, but red neck fun (hunting, pro bass, nascar, ultimate fighting, wreslting). High school sports, college sports, stick with what works and it can make money, but pro sports are historically a no go. I’d add in beer festivals, barbeque cook offs, square dancing, and blue grass. Oh and dog shows! Ha ha!
Still wish the design could play off the archecture of the old rail station!
- 4:19pm July 14
- 4:26pm July 14
dude has NO IDEA what it costs to bring in a soccer team — that $8mm is just an ENTRY FEE into a BLACK HOLE, and soccer doesn’t sell tickets ANYWHERE in the US. teachers need to be screaming outside of city hall with posters before that passes, because someone’s on the take — use that money to create tax breaks to lure more auto business away from detroit.
- 4:56pm July 14
And so many worthy organizations were cut from the budget this year. It never ends.
- 5:03pm July 14
I think it’s a damn fine idea, myself. Then again, I like pretty much anything Larry does.
- 5:08pm July 14
A big resounding WTH and a follow-up with WTF
- 9:04pm July 14
Mayor Lala strikes again. What planet is he on?
What’s your take?