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BJCC Board Set to Approve $46 Million Construction Contract for Birmingham Amphitheater

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With site work already under way on the 9,000-seat Star Amphitheater in downtown Birmingham, officials say they expect to take the next big step in the project later this month. (Artist Rendering)

By Joseph D. Bryant | jbryant@al.com

With site work already under way on the 9,000-seat Star Amphitheater in downtown Birmingham, officials say they expect to take the next big step in the project later this month.

The board of the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Complex is expected to vote later this month to approve a $46 million contract for the general construction work, officials said during a briefing Wednesday.

Stone Building Company, headquartered in Liberty Park, made the lowest of two bids to bring the entertainment concept to life, said Tad Snider, executive director of the BJCC.

“There are a lot of moving parts to this project on a very fast timeline,” Snider said after a board meeting today.

The amphitheater is slated to open in the summer of 2025.

“There is a lot of dirt moving over there, but it’s not construction,” Snider said. “You can see the project moving already.”

Officials also discussed goals for minority company participation during construction. Snider said the BJCC is on track to spend more than $11 million in construction-related work with minority-owned companies. That’s about 26 percent of eligible spending. The goal is for 30 percent to go to minority businesses.

The BJCC in February awarded a $3.1 million site-grading contract to SDAC, the low bidder and a minority-owned firm.

Jarrod Sims, president of the Black Contractors Association, said his organization would continue to advocate for meeting the goal.

“These numbers, they remain to be seen,” Sims said after the meeting. “We have not seen the inclusion that they are speaking of.”

Sims said there are enough companies available to satisfy the goals.

“We told them at the outset that they should not have a problem getting to that 30 percent,” he said.

The open-air amphitheater on 25th Street North will sit on the 50-acre campus of the former Carraway Hospital, just north of Protective Stadium.

The BJCC in September of 2023 sold $30 million of municipal bonds backed by pledges of certain amphitheater revenues and lodging taxes from the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel and Westin Birmingham Hotel.

The bond proceeds along with $20 million of upfront funding commitments from the City of Birmingham, Jefferson County, the entertainment company Live Nation and the BJCC make up the debt service structure for the amphitheater.

The facility will be owned by the BJCC and managed by Live Nation.

Live Nation operates Oak Mountain Amphitheatre in Pelham. The company plans to cease operating at Oak Mountain and hold its concerts at the new downtown Birmingham venue.