Big step forward for $50M dollar amphitheater by tourism bureau

Convention & Visitors Bureau approves money for amphitheater
Convention & Visitors Bureau approves money for amphitheater
Published: Oct. 24, 2022 at 10:59 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Today local leaders voted to make a big step in creating a new amphitheater in Birmingham.

The Greater Birmingham Area Visitors Bureau tells WBRC this really is a huge first step to the $50 million venue.

“There was a lot of questions, a lot of negotiation, a lot of compromising, but today, we all came together and made it happen,” said Alabama State Senator Jabo Waggoner, who was at the meeting today. The $50 million, 8,500-seat amphitheater would be located on the site of the former Carraway hospital complex. It is expected to be owned by the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center Authority. Now, they are looking at their next steps.

“We have to get the $3 million commitment from the state. I think the other asks are relatively easy to come by. And, and that’s the biggest, that’s the biggest opportunity for us right now to to make our budget hole at least for the next three years, “ said John Oros, President of Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

After that, they need $5 million from the City of Birmingham, $5M from Jefferson County, $5M from the BJCC, and $5M from Live Nation. But today they are optimistic the money will be voted on quickly.

“As long as all of our partners are willing to sit down at the table and talk through whatever issues there are... I think everyone wants to elevate what our community is,” said Tad Snider, Exec. Director and Chief Executive Officer at BJCC. One reason they hope it flows as quick as possible is the cost of building.

“Rising interest rates and rising cost of construction [are] pressures on the project, we want to try to move as quickly as we can to get in the ground,” said Snider.

Next the mayor will need to propose the idea to committees with the city council after the State Governor approves the initial $3M. If it gets approval from the city , county and state, the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center Authority members say they hope to open it next spring or early summer.

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