Ever since the inception of Legion field 97 years ago the stadium has hosted numerous monumental sports events. These events range from 50 Iron Bowls, to concerts featuring Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones, and even to several 1996 Olympic soccer matches. Furthermore, Legion field is the oldest football stadium in Alabama, as it’s 2 and 12 years senior over Bryant-Denny, and Jordan-Hare respectively. On the other hand, it has also been turned upside down this year some might say, all be it for the benefit of the Birmingham populous.
As in the beginning of 2020 our world was unfortunately taken over by the Coronavirus. This was a shellshock in the lives of many due to having to self-isolate, socially distance from our loved ones at times, and almost all sports and recreational activities being canceled. Although, even though there were no sporting events at Legion Field during the spring and summer months of 2020, the COVID-19 testing center that was established has been crucial to the fight against COVID-19. Also, with this testing site being located at Legion field, it’s a very accessible site for most in the metro area, while also being a very comforting and familiar location in these trying times. However, this testing site is fully funded by the CARES act passed earlier this year. So, rather unfortunately “Right now with the CARES Act funding, we can support this site up through December. After that, we don’t know what’s going to happen,” were the words of Dr. David Hicks, Deputy Health Office for the Jefferson County Health Department. Furthermore, with Christmas fast approaching there will be major travel and communion among people throughout Birmingham. This will show that the need for the further funding of the Legion Field testing center.
However, while Legion Field is hosting this testing center, it’s main focus is obviously Football! So, even though it has been slow in that manner for these past couple of months, the UAB football team came into this 2020 season blazing! As they’re coming in off of a 9-5 record, a C-USA championship appearance, and an New Orleans bowl appearance in 2019. Also, while this season is nearing an end they’ve already managed to redeem themselves from last years losses in the C-USA championship and New Orleans bowl. As they’ve gone 6-3 this season to beat Marshall 22-13 in the championship, thus giving them a bowl qualifying record, in which they will play against South Carolina in the Gasparilla Bowl on December 26, 2020 (This game has sense been canceled). Furthermore, much of this success can be attributed to Head Coach Bill Clark. As ever since 2017, when the UAB football program was rekindled, Clark has led the Blazers to a record 40-22 under his tenure, with 24 of those wins being played on Legion Field. Also, with all of this success brings the calling of higher things, as Gus Malzahn was recently fired by Auburn University, prompting the University to offer Clark the Head Coach position, which he denied, indicating he’s found his home at Legion field and Protective Stadium with the UAB football program in the future.
To close out, Legion Field is a stadium filled with an unbridled college football history. As, its also been a staple of the Magic City for almost a whole century. Furthermore, the flexibility of the stadium shown through the various events that have taken place in and around the stadium throughout the past 93 years truly show how influential and incredible it is to Birmingham and her people.