Negotiations underway to keep Magic City Classic in Birmingham

Faye Oates, Sales Director for the Alabama Sports Foundation. (

In just a few weeks, tens of thousands of fans will make their way to Birmingham's Legion Field for the annual Magic City Classic, and with them comes money to burn at local businesses."Its the largest black college classic in the country," said Faye Oates, Sales Director for the Alabama Sports Foundation.{}The classic is a huge money maker for the city with the latest revenue estimates suggesting Birmingham rakes in anywhere between $15-20 million -- hence the reason why the city is so determined to keep the Magic City Classic in the 'Magic City.'{}{}"It's the single largest revenue generating event that takes place in the city of Birmingham," said Johnathan Austin, Birmingham City Council for district 5, which includes Legion Field.{}The Alabama Sports Foundation, which represents both Alabama A&M and Alabama State, has confirmed that healthy negotiations are underway. {}{}{}{}"We have been over seeing this game since 2000. So every time we get close to the end of a contract the rumor mill starts going," said Oates. "So, we've had many contracts with the city. We've come to many endings and we've always had positive negotiations."{}Neither ASU nor A&M requested the foundation look into other possible host cities, which is a strong indication everyone involved wants the game to remain in Birmingham.{}

"This is a bowl game for the city in the middle of the football season. So, we have to treat it as such. So, there are many, many things that are important to this game. And to the negotiations of the contract being finalized," said Oates