BJCC master plan outlines future of the key entertainment district
The Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center Authority Board of Directors got its first look Aug. 17 at an updated master plan that identifies three focus areas of additions and improvements for the BJCC campus.
The master plan proposes extensive renovations and expansion of Legacy Arena, upgrades to the convention center’s exterior aesthetics and entrances and a new open-air stadium by the Uptown District.
The master plan update, developed by Kansas City firm Populous, was commissioned with a goal of positioning the BJCC to enhance its competitiveness regionally over the next 20 years. The arena and stadium would serve as anchors for a vibrant and connected campus with an enhanced guest experience that would be attractive to tourists and locals alike.
“We have looked forward to reviewing the work of Populous and master plan revisions for the BJCC,” said Tad Snider, Executive Director of the BJCC. “The process of assessing key enhancement and expansion opportunities based on the underlying goal of creating a flexible framework to meet the future vision and needs of the BJCC has been extremely rewarding.”
BJCCA Board Chairman Dennis Lathem said the master plan update is exciting and includes many impactful additions and alterations to the downtown entertainment district.
“This plan creates an exciting vision for the future of the BJCC,” Lathem said. “The BJCC’s success is Birmingham’s success.”
Making significant campus enhancements such as extensive renovations to Legacy Arena, addition of a stadium and impactful alterations to the convention and meeting spaces and to the entry and gateways could be “truly transformational” for the BJCC and Birmingham’s downtown, Snider said.
Notable items of the master plan include:
• An open-air stadium north of Uptown District with 45,000 fixed seats programmed to be expandable to 55,000 with a pre-designed temporary seating plan. Interviews and program requirements were conducted with stakeholders and potential users of the stadium, including the University of Alabama at Birmingham and ESPN.
• Legacy Arena would get a facelift, with an updated façade on the outside, new entrances, an added suite level and premium club space. The flow of the concourse will be improved and an upper level concourse added. It will also include enhanced food and beverage locations and options and improvements to the overall guest experience for sporting events, concerts and family oriented programming.
• The piazza outside of the arena will be renovated to feature a more open plan that will serve as a natural gathering and prefunction space encouraging activity and anchoring the pedestrial flow around the arena, concert hall and theater.
• Establishing a consistent and effective wayfinding experience throughout the BJCC venues to better guide attendees to their appropriate destinations and creating a stronger sense of place.
Cindy Fisher Crawford
205.458.8214 or 205.500.0990
205.458.8214 or 205.500.0990