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  • Writer's pictureDawson Martin

Protective Stadium Sign Lights Up the Birmingham Skyline

Updated: Sep 29, 2021

Protective Stadium over the Birmingham Skyline

On Tuesday night, local, city and state officials gathered to light the sign of

Birmingham’s new multi-use stadium. Protective Stadium officially opens Oct. 2 when it hosts the first Blazer football home game against Liberty University. With a capacity of 47,100 seats, it will be the home for Blazer football and the World Games opening and closing ceremonies in July 2022.

Ceremony attendants take a picture in front of the new Protective logo backdrop

Ceremonial speakers included Alabama governor Kay Ivey, Birmingham mayor Randall Woodfin, UAB president Ray Watts, BJCC CEO Tad Snider, Protective President Rich Bielen, and Phillips Academy Eighth Grader Trysten Manning for a reading of his poem. Bielen opened the ceremony sharing Protective’s vision for the stadium and the positive impact it will have on the Birmingham community. He highlighted efforts as they worked with local neighborhoods including them from start to finish. “Big things can happen when we collaborate toward a shared vision. I believe Birmingham has a bright future ahead, and Protective is proud to be part of bringing this stadium to life for our community,” said Bielen.

Protective President and CEO Richard J Bielen delivers opening remarks

Governor Ivey’s words were short and encouraging for the people of Birmingham and the state of Alabama. She said this was an exciting day and that “Protective Stadium will have a tremendous impact on our state and in our communities.”

Alabama governor Kay Ivey delivers her speech to the crowd of attendees

Mayor Woodfin centered his speech on how Birmingham does not chase after other cities such as Houston or Atlanta. We are Birmingham. We make our own impact, he implied by saying, “Birmingham’s greatest success stories are built on public private partnerships, and Protective Stadium is the latest example of that.” “The lighting of the stadium is a significant milestone in our progress and showcases that Birmingham can shine brighter when we work together. We look forward to welcoming visitors and fans to Protective Stadium as we host world-class events that will help move our city forward.”

Birmingham mayor Randall Woodfin delivers remarks

Attendees also heard a poem from Trysten Manning, an eighth grader at Phillips Academy, who was the winner of the Protective Stadium poetry contest. The winning poem, “Still, My Steel City,” will go in the stadium’s time capsule.

Watch the full ceremony here or visit for more information.

(Article also posted here for Kaleidoscope Media of UAB.)

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