Mayor Randall L. Woodfin this week presented a resolution of intent for a one-time $26 million investment to existing and new facilities within the city to enhance economic development as a sports and entertainment destination. The funding would be distributed among four locations:
–CrossPlex Village Family Fun Center design and construction: $15 million
–North Birmingham amphitheater regional partnership: $5 million
–Legion Field renovations: $4 million
–Rickwood Field renovations: $2 million
“Our commitment to invest in these existing and new facilities benefits our families both in the city and provides new opportunities to actively recruit great events for residents and visitors alike,” Woodfin said.
Late last year, the mayor announced a new city-owned family fun center with a skating rink, jump park, e-sports center, bowling alley and food court is being planned for the CrossPlex property in West Birmingham.
“I am thrilled to honor our West Birmingham residents by bringing this into their community,” said Woodfin. “The concept of sports and entertainment options under one roof will be a game changer for our families, our children, and our visitors. I envision this being a major hub for family fun and plan to make sure it is a state-of-the-art facility because our community deserves it.”
Discussions on the 20,000-square-foot facility began last spring. Pre-construction has been supported by $2 million available for CrossPlex redevelopment through the refinancing of commercial development bonds approved by the Birmingham City Council in September 2020.
The North Birmingham amphitheatre will complement the Uptown entertainment district that already features the new Protective Stadium, a refurbished BJCC Legacy Arena, TopGolf, the Westin and Sheraton hotels and a variety of restaurants.
“There’s one last thing to complete that, and that is the amphitheatre,” Woodfin said.
The amphitheatre is expected to host a minimum of 17 to 19 concerts a year, which will help the city get a return on its investment, he said. “I believe we’ll see a return right away,” he said.
The mayor also presented a resolution asking for a 5 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for all city employees.
If approved, the 5 percent COLA for employees, coupled with last year’s raise, would provide a cumulative 10 percent cost of living adjustment for all employees within a 12-month period.
“The city’s greatest asset to serve Birmingham is our people, the employees of our city. We appreciate your sacrifice and commitment,” Woodfin said. “The city is committed to investing in all city employees and providing competitive compensation in order to retain and recruit a customer-service based, efficient and effective workforce.”
Upon final approval from the full council, the item will be presented to the Jefferson County Personnel Board. The total cost of the COLA would be $13.5 million.