This has popped up in the news and the Twitter feed @NBABirmingham started by George Chamoun is gaining lots of new followers. But a movement is starting to grow to bring an NBA team to the Magic City. According to several sports talk stations the Birmingham Mayor William Bell is exploring options to possibly bring the New Orleans Hornets to Birmingham. Currently the State of Alabama and Birmingham has no pro sports team. Yes it has a huge Alabama and Auburn football and sports following and people go crazy when we get to the college football season. But Birmingham is one of the biggest metro areas in the country without a pro sports team. And that needs to change.
There are two big factors that Birmingham needs to address before bringing an NBA team. One is we need the facilities. The BJCC has a gym and arena but it is starting to show its age. The team could use Bartow Arena on the UAB campus. All of this is short-term things the city needs to think about before landing an NBA team. The city also needs to think about building a new arena for the team in the future. The second thing needed is corporate support. BBVA Compass is the official bank partner of the NBA and is headquartered in Birmingham. So I think they would have no problem supporting a team. Regions Financial is also headquartered in Birmingham and already sponsors several sporting events like the Regions Tradition and the new downtown baseball park. So they would possibly support a team in Birmingham. Plus national corporations could help as well.
Alabamians have embraced other major sporting events in Alabama outside of Alabama and Auburn football and other college sports. Many people enjoy going to the Talladega Superspeedway twice a year. Plus the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama has been a major draw. And the state has hosted major golf tournaments such as the Regions Tradition, Navistar LPGA, and the Mobile Bay LPGA. Plus people in Alabama follow their high school sports teams very closely and are avid fishermen and hunters. The fact is Alabama is a major sports state. People enjoy participating in sports and watching sports on TV. ESPN loves people in Alabama because the Birmingham TV market always ranks high in the ratings. I think the Birmingham Metro could support an NBA team. And the past teams from Birmingham came from sports leagues that have shut down. That is not a reason why Birmingham can’t support anything.
But on articles online such as this one from Kevin Scarbinsky from al.com. Most commenters are already bashing the idea of bringing an NBA team to Birmingham.
Sure Jefferson County and Birmingham needs to clean up the corruption and the sewer debt crisis. But when all of the past troubles are cleaned up I do believe that Birmingham can support an NBA or maybe even an MLS team. Birmingham has been changing for the better in the last decade and has several great additions such as Railroad Park and the new downtown ballpark for the Barons. Birmingham is not this very dangerous city filled with crime and leaders who are corrupt and can’t do anything. You people online that are always bashing the Birmingham Metro area needs to put on some big boy pants. Crime can happen anywhere and young people are growing tired of driving that very long commute to the Republican haven of Shelby County. Most young people are driven to change so we can live in downtown and in a great community that has a great nightlife, restaurant culture, and is sustainable. I think some of you out there are afraid of change. This video from David Bowie should cheer you up!
I think Birmingham can handle a pro sports team and it would do fine! I don’t think it will hurt you people who live in Shelby County and the surrounding counties to visit the Magic City more often. Think about it; Alabama is a sports mecca. The citizens love watching and playing in all types of sports. Once Birmingham gets a pro sports team; we all can dance. Let David Bowie help you with that! Follow @NBABirmingham on Twitter. And on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NBAtoBirmingham?ref=ts
If I made you mad or leaving with questions. Leave a comment! I respond to comments quickly and often.
- Birmingham News fires more than 100 employees (mediaofbirmingham.com)
- Slicefest 2012 in Birmingham (geekalabama.com)
- Birmingham Mayor William Bell seeks $50,000 for study on state rail expansion (al.com)
- New Orleans Hornets Sale Complete (wtok.com)