HPM is serving as the Owner’s Representative for the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Authority’s transformative sports and entertainment projects that are expected to play a leading role in the future of downtown Birmingham.
Totaling $330 million, our firm is providing guidance and oversight for a building program that includes both the construction of a brand new 45,000-seat football stadium that will serve as the future home of the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) Blazers, as well as the comprehensive renovation and expansion of the 44-year-old Legacy Arena. Work is now underway on both projects, which are slated to deliver in Q4 2021. The project will position Birmingham as a top regional and national destination for meetings and conventions while also generating new opportunities to host a variety of top-tier sports and entertainment events.
HPM was initially chosen as program manager to oversee the pre-construction phase of the Legacy Arena renovation before our overall scope of work was expanded. We are working with construction teams and project managers to serve as the eyes and ears for ownership on both initiatives, continuing our distinguished track record on high-profile capital projects across Alabama. HPM partnered with Steel City Services, a Birmingham firm specializing in project management services, to deliver the scope of services required for the projects. In addition to our assignment at BJCC, HPM is also overseeing ongoing renovations for Bryant-Denny Stadium at the University of Alabama, and previously managed construction efforts for Regions Field in Birmingham.
“We are pleased to expand our relationship with the BJCC Authority, which has been a trusted partner of ours for many years now,” said Mike Lanier, HPM president. “That history provides HPM with an integral understanding of the BJCC’s processes and overall vision for this campaign and allowed us to hit the ground running by developing a strategic plan that sets clear goals and benchmarks for all project partners. Our background in sports and public sector projects across Alabama made this assignment a natural fit, and we look forward to helping the BJCC and downtown Birmingham open a new chapter full of promise and possibility.”
“The new stadium and modernized arena will be assets to the city of Birmingham for many years to come and we’re proud to work with a Birmingham-based company to see them through,” said Tad Snider, BJCC executive director and CEO since 2010. “These projects mean more opportunities for entertainment, sports, family entertainment, conventions and meetings, and the associated economic impact generated from these events that benefits the Magic City.”
Originally opened in 1976, Legacy Arena is on track for a modernization initiative to ensure the facility will continue to serve the greater Birmingham area for the next generation. Renovations kicked off in the spring of 2020, with planned improvements including a new suite level, a new upper level club area, a variety of enhanced food and beverage options, new seating, a 360 degree ribbon board in the seating bowl and refurbished lobbies with state-of-the-art escalator and elevator systems. A modernized glass-and-steel façade will enhance the arena’s exterior appearance. The impact of the project was recently recognized with the NCAA awarding Birmingham and Legacy Arena the Men’s Basketball Division One first and second round dates for 2023 and the Division One Women’s Southern Regionals in 2025.
Progress is also being made on Protective Stadium, a $174 million next-generation complex jointly funded by the BJCC Authority, City of Birmingham, Jefferson County, UAB and the Birmingham corporate community. Site work began in fall 2019, with construction work commencing in January. Its impressive main entrance will open onto a large open event plaza leading to a variety of retail and restaurant offerings that serve as an extension of the Uptown entertainment district. In addition to hosting Blazers home games, the stadium will also serve as a home for the AHSAA high school football state championship games on a rotating basis, the Ticketsmarter Birmingham Bowl, concerts and more.
While construction for both Legacy Arena and Protective Stadium are on aggressive schedules, our team will work with all parties to ensure target deadlines and milestones stay on schedule. We are proud to be part of this project, which marks the first ground-up football stadium that HPM has worked on and our largest arena renovation contract to date.