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From Concerts to Conventions, the BJCC Welcomes All

A mural depicting past concerts and events is show at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex in Birmingham, Ala. (Photo by Mark Almond)

By Erica Wright
The Birmingham Times

The Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) is a sports, convention, and entertainment center made up of several venues, including a concert hall, theaters and exhibition halls, as well as the Medical Forum Conference Center. Also part of the BJCC complex are the Forum Office Building, Westin Birmingham and the Sheraton Birmingham Hotels; Uptown Entertainment District; the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, Birmingham Children’s Theater and the Southeastern Conference.

The BJCC offers a broad range of entertainment and conference facilities in the heart of downtown Birmingham.

Meetings and Exhibitions

The BJCC contains 220,000 square feet of flexible space in the Exhibition Hall, as well as 74 meeting rooms totaling 100,000 square feet, including a 16,000-square-foot ballroom that can seat up to 1,200 for banquets. In addition, the 10-story Medical Forum building has meeting rooms, a 275-seat theater, and classrooms, in addition to conference areas and seven floors of offices.

“[The BJCC has] about 380,000 square feet of public-meeting space. The two large exhibit halls are approximately 110,000 to 120,000 square feet … and are surrounded by clusters of meeting rooms that support each exhibit hall,” BJCC Authority Executive Director and CEO Tad Snider said of the Exhibition Hall, which houses Birmingham’s largest trade shows and conventions and can accommodate 1,100 exhibit booths.

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“The Legacy Arena [seats 19,000], and there is a smaller 1,000-seat theater primarily used by the Birmingham Children’s Theater, as well as a 3,000-seat concert hall,” Snider said.

The BJCC Concert Hall was home to the Alabama Symphony Orchestra before it moved to the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB’s) Alys Stephens Center. This facility, the tallest building in the complex, hosts concerts and touring Broadway and family shows. It houses a pipe organ, and backstage there are two chorus rooms, 12 dressing rooms, two rehearsal areas, and a VIP reception room. The smaller theater is used for operas, ballets, and smaller concerts and stage shows; it has two rehearsal areas, two chorus dressing rooms, and six dressing rooms, including a star’s dressing room.

Hotels and Dining

“The civic center authority also owns the Sheraton-Birmingham and Westin-Birmingham hotels,” Snider said.

In addition, the Uptown Entertainment District has six restaurants and a coffee shop, and Topgolf features a high-tech driving range along with private event and lounge space.

More to Come

That’s just a sampling of what’s offered at the BJCC today. As the stadium is constructed, there is potential for new development in and around it, said Snider.

“When the project is finished, there will be more opportunities for entertainment and dining than we have today,” he said. “At that point, pretty much 18th Avenue all the way to Carraway Boulevard and up to 12th Avenue and [CityWalk BHAM] to the south all becomes the environment in and around the BJCC.”