Let’s talk about Legion and their field, not to be confused with newly retired Legion Field. Should Legion build their own stadium? Could Birmingham support a larger stadium? Where would a new stadium even go? Currently the Legion are using UAB’s soccer field, or the BBVA Compass Field as it’s named. The BVAA Compass Field can hold 5,000 people non Covid times. Now on Legion’s side, they hold 13th out of 36 for average attendance in the USL teams- filling the stadium, on average, at 4,550 (or around 85% of the stadiums compacity) based upon self reported numbers from the 2020 season.
To me, averaging 85% capacity says that Birmingham could definitely pack out a larger stadium. The question is: 1a) How packed could Legion make the Protective Stadium? 1b) Where would you put another stadium in Birmingham? The Protective Stadium is quoted to hold 47,100 people. Legion Field had a compacity of 71,594. UAB Football’s average attendance is 23,139, and their largest in Program history was 45,212, but to make the very large stadium of Legion Field feel tighter, there were covers over sections of the bleachers. Maybe the Legion could work something out with the BJCC just to give it a trial run once Protective is operational. If the BJCC is against doing something along the lines that UAB did for Legion Field, where would a stadium go? My vote would be for the Uptown area- like where Protective is located. Maybe tear down the old Carraway Hospital and put a stadium there. The Carraway Hospital land has recently been put up for sale. From there, I would love to see Alabama change the law on gambling and turn Carraway into a casino. That spring boards Alabama to be competitive as far as recreation (because we’ve all driven to Georgia for Powerball tickets), and they could actually fix the roads we all hate, so it’s a nice drive out to Protective Stadium. The best place to put another stadium would be over near Protective Stadium/Top Golf. Help revitalize the area even further.
Regardless I believe that Legion could build another stadium if they wanted to have one for themselves. Or they could get fancy with it and see how full we could Protective especially a game against like Atlanta United or another Rival team.