Category: Economy

Protective Life Buys Naming Rights to New Downtown Birmingham Stadium

As a Diana Ross classic blared across the speakers in the grassy area in front of Birmingham’s Uptown District, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said he never thought the mountain was too high to achieve the goal of a new stadium downtown.

“At a certain point, no mountain is high enough if you’ve got enough people pushing and pulling with you at the same time, in the same direction,” Woodfin said after Protective Life was announced as the title sponsor of the stadium, the construction of which could begin this summer.

The Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex and Protective Life Corporation announced today a 15-year agreement for the naming rights sponsorship of Birmingham’s new multi-use stadium, which now will be called Protective Stadium.

“Each step makes it more real, more tangible,” Woodfin said. “This is just another step within the process as we continue to move this project forward.”

Protective committed to pay $1 million per year for 15 years for naming rights at the stadium. The insurance company joins the BJCC Authority, city of Birmingham, Jefferson County, UAB and other corporate partners in funding the new stadium. Read more.

Would You Be My Neighbor? Jefferson County Mayors Answer ‘Yes’ as They Sign Pledge Not to Poach Business

Trafford Mayor Greg Rogers wasn’t present in the Jefferson County Commission chambers this morning but the spirit of TV’s Mister Rogers was as 22 Jefferson County mayors signed the Good Neighbor Pledge.

The pact discourages poaching between cities in the county. Each city represented in the agreement pledges not to recruit business from another city within the county.

“Under the voluntary agreement, we as mayors promise we will not lure businesses away from other cities in Jefferson County through solicitation or incentives,” Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said. “I’m convinced the Good Neighbor Pledge will lay a better foundation for our cities’ future … all of us within the county.”

Woodfin said not having a pledge such as the one signed today put Birmingham at risk of losing small businesses, including shops, grocery stores and restaurants.

“When a business closes in one city and moves to a neighboring city, we’re not creating new jobs, we’re not creating opportunities,” the Birmingham mayor continued. “We’re just shuffling them around.” Read more.

Birmingham Iron’s Season Ends Early, as Alliance of American Football Suspends Operations

Updated — Even quicker than it came to life, the Alliance of American Football — and with it, the Birmingham Iron — has gone on life support.

The first word came Tuesday morning, after a report from the Pro Football Talk blog at NBC Sports that the league would suspend operations by the end of the day.

AAF co-Founder Bill Polian confirmed several hours after the initial reports that the league would suspend operations as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.

“I am extremely disappointed to learn that Tom Dundon has decided to suspend all football operations of the Alliance of American Football,” Polian said in a prepared statement first reported by ESPN.

AAF Chairman Tom Dundon threatened to pull the plug in comments he made to USA Today last week. He complained then about a lack of cooperation from the National Football League Players Association in allowing the AAF to use players on NFL rosters for developmental purposes, much as minor league baseball teams use players sent down from their Major League Baseball parent clubs. Read more.

Earlier Reporting on Birmingham’s Sports Scene

Majoring in the Minors: Birmingham’s Booming With New Pro Sports Teams

Alabama Unemployment Rate Drops to Record Low 3.7 Percent

See the full list of counties and their unemployment rates.

MONTGOMERY — According to the numbers, it’s a good time to be working in Alabama.

The Alabama Department of Labor announced Friday that February’s unemployment rate of 3.7 percent is the lowest recorded rate in the state’s history. February’s rate is a tick down from January’s 3.8 percent, the previous record low, and below February 2018’s 4.0 percent.

“The outstanding work being done by the Alabama Departments of Labor and Commerce is helping to ensure businesses are growing in our state and that we are connecting employees with those jobs,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a written statement. “We still have more people seeking employment opportunities and we will do all we can to help them find jobs as well.” Read more.

Amazon Fulfillment Center on Pace to Meet Contract Timetable Although It’s Missing the Estimated Delivery Date

Bessemer will have to be patient when it comes to the present it’s getting from Amazon.

That present – the online retailer’s first Alabama fulfillment center – won’t be delivered as quickly as company leaders projected at the groundbreaking in October.

But Jefferson County commissioners, speaking during and after their committee meeting this morning, said they are confident the center will come to fruition. Read more.

Another Pro Football League Takes the Field in Birmingham. Will This One Stay Afloat?

It’s almost become a tradition for football fans in the Magic City. Every few years, yet another professional football league comes to Legion Field, with aspirations to bring some semblance of high-level gridiron action to The Old Gray Lady on Graymont.

This time, the Alliance of American Football promises to help fans get over that difficult spell after the end of the traditional season and create an attraction that brings entertainment and dollars to the economy of a city, state and region that’s a sports hotbed.

Playing in the spring, the AAF bills itself as a developmental organization that gives up-and-coming players a chance to advance or return to the National Football League. Read more.