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BJCC Stadium Project: Groundbreaking expected by year's end

BJCC stadium rendering (abc3340.com)

The BJCC is making progress on a new $175 million downtown stadium and $125 million in Legacy Arena renovations.

The BJCC closed on $300 million in bonds in August, which cover both the stadium and arena renovations.

Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens, who sits on the BJCC board, explains progress is ongoing and will continue at the board's meeting next week.

“[We’ll] attempt to finalize our architectural plans and our bill plans and from that point, we will engage and move forward with a very, very tight time frame,” Stephenson explained.

Groundbreaking is now scheduled to happen by the end of the year.

“The groundbreaking was really talked about to a great extent to occur this fall,” explained Stephens. “But management, and certain board members got together and decided it would be best to wait until closer to the actual construction.”

The goal remains to be ready for 2021 World Games and 2021 UAB football season.

“I’m cautiously optimistic we can get it done,” said Stephens. “We’re losing our window of opportunity. And when we engage, we’re going to have to engage very, very rigorously without any hiccups. The weather’s going to have to be just right but it can get done. There is a pathway.”

BJCC Executive Director Tad Snider expects the stadium construction to begin in spring of 2019.

He says the site is being prepared now with utility relocation. Snider knows the public is anxious to see work get started.

“Right now, we’re very optimistic the schedules for both are achievable, and we can’t wait to get out there and actually begin to turn dirt, so everyone can see the progress and be as excited as we are,” Snider told ABC 33/40.

The project is building anticipation across the metro.

“I just can’t wait,” said Maddux Mullinax. “This is going to be something fantastic. It’s been a long time coming.”

Mullinax is a UAB Blazer who can't wait to see his team play in a new stadium.

“The question is just obviously, when’s the date of the groundbreaking, because of course I want to be there,” he said.

Snider says the BJCC is working with ALDOT to coordinate construction with the 59/20 bridge replacement project.

The Legacy Arena construction is scheduled to begin in spring of 2020, about one year after the stadium construction begins.

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