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How the BJCC Puts Magic in the Magic City
a garden in front of a building

The Impact of the BJCC in Birmingham, AL

The BJCC is more than just a venue for conventions and trade shows. As a central gathering spot, it’s a hub for the Birmingham community, hosting a variety of events, including concerts, Broadway shows, local meetings, banquets, and educational, cultural, religious, and social functions that cater to all members of the community. Additionally, the BJCC hosts popular consumer events like the Birmingham International Auto Show and Birmingham Sport & Boat Show, which draw in thousands of visitors annually.

So, why should you care about the BJCC?

The answer is simple. The BJCC is responsible for creating millions of dollars in economic benefit, hundreds of jobs, and improving the quality of life for all Birmingham residents. Spending associated with BJCC events has a positive impact on all sectors of the local economy, supporting jobs region-wide. These jobs are not only limited to the hospitality sector, but also extend to diverse sectors such as agriculture, durable goods manufacturing, and construction.

The BJCC’s primary objective is to attract events, conventions and meetings that will generate economic benefits for the region. When event tourists visit Birmingham, they create economic activity that ripples throughout our region, benefitting not only the city but the entire area. We’re proud to be the premier entertainment destination in Alabama!

1962
1962

The Idea

The dream of a place where Alabamians can connect is born. 

1965
1965

The BJCCA is Established

The public corporation of the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center Authority (BJCCA) is created.

1966
1966

Architectural Competition

An architectural competition organized by the American Institute of Architects is launched in New York, with architects competing for the opportunity to design the BJCC. Over 900 inquiries are received.

1967
1967

Architect George W. Qualls is Selected

a man wearing a hat and glasses

George W. Qualls of Geddes, Brecher, Qualls and Cunningham of Philadelphia, PA is named the BJCC design winner. 

1969
1969

Groundbreaking of BJCC Complex

diagram

Groundbreaking begins on the Exhibition Hall in July 1969, to be followed by the construction of the Concert Hall, Theatre, and Coliseum.

1971
1971

Exhibition Hall Opens

The Exhibition Hall officially opens on December 19, 1971.

1973
1973

Coliseum Plans

Coliseum Plans

New design plans for the Coliseum are revealed in March 1973.

1974
1974

Groundbreaking of Coliseum

Groundbreaking begins on the Coliseum on July 1, 1974.

1974

Coliseum & Piazza Completion

a view of a city street

The BJCC Coliseum & Piazza are officially complete in Summer 1976.

1974

Concert Hall Preview Date

The BJCC hosts a Concert Hall Preview on August 5, 1974. The Preview is used to address any issues ranging from stage production to concessions to staffing. 

1974

Concert Hall & Theatre Opening

a vintage photo of an old building

The BJCC Concert Hall and Theatre officially open on October 3, 1974 and have a 10-day span of celebratory opening festivities between both venues. These events include performances by the Birmingham Ballet, Birmingham Civic Chorus, Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, a dedication to the 1,135-pipe Schlicker pipe organ, and more.

1976
1976

First Coliseum Concert

First Coliseum Concert

John Denver performs the first concert at BJCC Coliseum (known today as Legacy Arena) on September 28, 1976.

1979
1979

South Hall Construction

Construction begins on the South Exhibition Hall in early 1979.

1982
1982

South Hall Completion

South Hall Completion

The BJCC South Exhibition Hall is completed in 1982.

1990
1990

East Hall Construction

Construction begins on the East Exhibition Hall and Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in late 1990.

1992
1992

East Hall & ASHOF Completion

The BJCC East Exhibition Hall and Alabama Sports Hall of Fame are complete in 1992.

2011
2011

Construction of Uptown

a large empty parking lot

In September 2011, the Uptown Entertainment District and the Westin Birmingham hotel begin construction.

2013
2013

Uptown Entertainment District

Uptown Entertainment District

The Westin Birmingham Hotel opens February 14, 2013. Restaurants and shops begin opening throughout 2013 and 2014 in Uptown.

2015
2015

Entertainment District Approval

text, letter

On March 17, 2015 the Birmingham City Council approves the Uptown Entertainment District to become the city’s “first entertainment district,” allowing visitors to carry alcoholic beverages outside.

2018
2018

Groundbreaking of Protective Stadium

Groundbreaking of Protective Stadium

Construction begins on Uptown’s brand new football stadium in December 2018.

2020
2020

Legacy Arena Modernization Begins

Legacy Arena begins extensive modernization in April 2020. These updates will include 15,000 new seats, new lighting system, new sound system, new club levels for socializing, new audience suites, new artist suites, new locker rooms, and new concessions outlets.

2021
2021

First Event at Protective Stadium

First Event at Protective Stadium

The 47,100-seat facility officially opens on October 2, 2021, as the new home of UAB Blazers football with the Blazers taking on the Liberty Flames.

2021

First Event at Newly-Modernized Legacy Arena

First Event at Newly-Modernized Legacy Arena

On December 5, 2021, the Birmingham Squadron, an NBA G League team, plays its first home game of the season at Legacy Arena.

2021

First Concert at Newly-Modernized Legacy Arena

First Concert at Newly-Modernized Legacy Arena

Trans-Siberian Orchestra plays to a sold out crowd on December 15, 2021. This is the first concert back in Legacy Arena since completing the modernization.

2022
2022

Inaugural Concert at Protective Stadium

Inaugural Concert at Protective Stadium

Garth Brooks plays to a sold-out crowd of over 50,000 fans for the first concert at Protective Stadium on June 4, 2022.

2022

City Walk BHAM Opens

City Walk BHAM, a 10-block space beneath the I-59/20 corridor, officially opens in Summer 2022 to connect the city like never before. Pickleball courts, dog parks, skatepark, and more comprise 31 acres of outdoor space for local get-togethers and community events.

2023
2023

NCAA Tournament Returns

NCAA Tournament Returns

The 2023 NCAA March Madness Men’s Basketball Tournament returns to Birmingham in March 2023 at Legacy Arena. Magic City residents and visitors from across the nation cheer on teams from Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Maryland, West Virginia, Northern Kentucky, and Houston.

Upcoming Events

Don’t miss out on our upcoming events at BJCC! From concerts and shows to conventions and sporting events, we have something for everyone. Book your tickets now and experience the best entertainment in Alabama!

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