Tag Archives: football

UAB announces new soccer facility, $1.5 million BBVA Compass gift towards construction

BBVA Compass field rendering from SEBBVA Compass and UAB officials released a statement on Friday announcing a $1.5 million gift to be used to construct a new 2,500 seat stadium for the school’s men’s and women’s soccer teams. The unveiling of these plans follow recent public written statements (including one released by UAB president Dr. Ray Watts and another by the university’s athletic director Brian Mackin) in response to a letter penned by the members of the newly formed UAB Football Foundation and first published on SB Nation’s Underdog Dynasty. The exchange is leading many to wonder if the UAB football team will be taking the field in 2016 and beyond.

Digital renderings of the new facility, to be called BBVA Compass Field, were posted to the UAB men’s soccer team’s fan page on Facebook on Saturday morning, November 8. It would place two of athletic department’s top three performing programs (soccer and baseball) on prominent display for those arriving on campus from the west along University Boulevard. Its location is approximately where a proposed facility was suggested in the long-range plan for the university previously prepared by KPS Group. The field would replace the current team home, the West Campus Field. It is also not the global financial institution’s first foray into the naming-rights arena as BBVA Compass Stadium, a 22,000 seat facility in Houston, TX nicknamed “The Oven,” houses the MLS’s Houston Dynamo and NWSL’s Houston Dash; their Spanish-based parent company, BBVA Group, sponsors La Jiga — the top division in Spain’s soccer league system.

In related news, the men’s soccer team, currently ranked No. 22 in the nation, will play against Marshall at 3:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday, November 12, in Norfolk, VA. in a quarterfinal match for the Conference USA championship. They will play the winner of the first match of the day — Kentucky vs. South Carolina (1 p.m. CT).

January = the SEC playing in the BCS Championship…

BCS 2013 logoIn case you’ve been living under a rock for the last 37 days, you already know that the Crimson Tide of the University of Alabama will battle the Fighting Irish of the University of Notre Dame tonight for the BCS Championship.

There are a lot of viewing parties taking place in metro Birmingham this evening. The Carmike Summit 16 has 285 seats available on a first-come, first served basis according to ABC 33/40’s website if you feel like venturing down 280.

If you’re thinking about staying a little closer to downtown after work (if you didn’t leave early to get ready for the game), you may want to think about what’s become WorkPlay’s annual watch party event starting at 4 p.m. Priscilla Wadsworth will be there along with some of her Crimson Tide-focused illustrations.

We know there are a lot of other parties going on this evening, including ones at Cantina in Pepper Place, and Crescendo Lounge on Southside.

Where are you watching the game? Who are you going to root for?

Big day for football in Birmingham (and beyond)

Joe Webb. Courtesy of Minnesota Vikings website.There are a lot of Crimson Tide fans getting ready for the BCS Championship game in Miami on Monday, January 7. They can’t say they’re enjoying a slow sports day today as they wait for their game against the Fighting Irish to begin.

Earlier today, Ole Miss represented the SEC well against Pittsburgh at the BBVA Compass Bowl, winning 38-17 at historic Legion Field. The announced attendance at today’s game, 59,135, is a record for the seven-year old postseason college football game. It is also at least 5,000 more than the number of folks who went to this year’s Sugar Bowl (the worst it’s been there since 1939).

This evening, football fans get another gift – in the form of a surprise from the NFL. UPDATE below.

After learning Minnesota Vikings starting quarterback Christian Ponder was declared ineligible for tonight’s playoff game against the Packers, local social media networks lit up after learning it meant former UAB standout and Birmingham native Joe Webb would get the starting nod. He will become the first NFL quarterback to start a playoff game after not making any passing attempts during the regular season according to Elias Sports Bureau. The game is scheduled to begin locally on Alabama’s 13  at 7 p.m.

Webb drew a great deal of attention locally in late 2010 when he not only scored his first NFL touchdown, but won his first ever start the following week.

UPDATE: Webb and the Vikings unfortunately weren’t able to pull out a victory at the Frozen Tundra, losing to the Green Bay Packers, 24-10.

USFL’s Google+ Hangout helps explain the process

USFL July 2012 logoSo long as this site has operated, there’s been a serious interest in any story involving the launch of a pro team. This is especially true when it comes to football.

Earlier this week (Thursday to be exact), the folks from the new USFL held their first ever Google+ Hangout (yes, they have a Google+ account) as they attempted to explain some recent decisions and developments, including the one that pushes the launch of the league back to spring of 2014.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuz1WMGEic8]

Of particular interest during this online event was a lengthy explanation of how they are going about determining where how those eight inaugural cities that will be determined. The league’s chief operating officer, Fred Biletnikoff Jr., pointed out that the league wasn’t necessarily looking to place teams in cities, but for “groups that come to us” in markets that are interested. Those ownership groups are required to fill out at 15-page application as part of the process; any potential owner that can claim five percent must also complete an application.

USFL president Jaime Cuadra reiterated their desire to have eight teams on the field when it launches, though there could be more based on interest shown and the additional time they now have. Cuadra did provide a list of cities where there was active interest and potential ownership groups. It included Salt Lake City; Tulsa/Oklahoma City; Akron, OH; Raleigh/Durham; Hartford, CT. He also spoke of interest being shown in Texas, southern Florida, and California and stressed that this list may change as they get closer to launch.

Birmingham was one of the cities involved in the original USFL during the mid-1980s.

The latest on the USFL and Birmingham? We’ll find out tonight

USFL July 2012 logoWith so much focus in recent weeks on one group’s hopes of landing an NBA franchise for Birmingham, we’ve been ignoring talk of plans to bring football back to the Magic City this spring.

As mentioned on the site and others back in May, the USFL has been looking at Birmingham as a possible location for one of eight franchises as the league is reimagined in 2013. A Birmingham News article filed on July 3 cites league president and CEO Jaime Cuadra as stating that there had not been significant talks with city officials as of yet.

This brings us to this evening, when Cuadra will join Steve West on 101.1 FM at approximately 7:15 p.m. (according to the league’s brand page on Facebook) to discuss “potential” plans for a team in Birmingham, AL. The league did release a new logo last Friday (seen to your left) along with unveiling a new website. They’ve also been touring cities long considered options for franchises in recent weeks.

Incidentally, another thing to keep in mind as all of this talk moves forward is NBC Sports reporting that the UFL (the league that tried to enter the Birmingham market back in 2007) may announce plans for a comeback with four team later this week. Their official website makes it look like it could be all but certain…

What’s all this talk about the USFL being back?

USFL Logo 2012There have been posts written about the All-American Football League and the United Football League wanting to bring football back to Birmingham (and, as a result, to historic Legion Field) during the early days of the sites existence. For some reason there were not posts talking about the potential launch of the American Football League in 2011 and our potential franchise, the Birmingham Yellowhammers (though that one never got off the ground either).

For some reason though, there’s a little more hope tied to the most recent effort to bring back professional football to Birmingham – especially since its tied to the return of the USFL – sort of. Who knows, it could even mean a return of the Birmingham Stallions.

The Washington Post filed a report late last week about the pending return of the league next spring as a developmental league – an announcement originally made by EndZone Sports Management, LLC, the league’s owners, during the Vegas Unwrapped show (and the company’s website) back on February 15. It was also reported by NBC Sports in April, though considering what day the story ran, we could see why folks wouldn’t necessarily believe it.

Something adding to the increased attention in recent days may be the fact that the cities selected for the relaunch are expected to be announced this summer. Considering that according to the WP story (as well as the pieces from the Birmingham Business Journal and The Birmingham News) there were only 10 cities being looked at for eight slots, the Magic City’s chances are looking pretty good so far.

How did Birmingham fare on National Signing Day?

While much of the attention today was on who signed at Alabama and Auburn, it’d be silly to forget that there were colleges and universities in the immediate Birmingham metro area that got some commitments as well.

UAB Blazers logoUAB – The first national signing day of the Garrick McGee era seems to have Blazer fans excited. McGee seems committed to his pledge made shortly after he arrived that he’d focus on recruiting in-state; 18 of the 25 student-athletes that signed today are from Alabama. Nine of them are from metro Birmingham.

samford bulldogsSamford – Pat Sullivan’s program signed 18 student-athletes today. The school signed six players from the state of Alabama (and just as many from Florida), with three of them (Ben Tamburello, IIII – Hoover; Jake Wilks – Trussville; Denzel Williams – Columbiana) hailing from the metro area.

Miles College Golden BearsMiles – While the Golden Bears hadn’t officially posted their Signing Day list as of yet (the post will be updated with the link once they do), they did just so happen to share their 2012 football schedule yesterday. This year’s games include a meeting with the University of North Alabama at Legion Field for the sixth annual Golden Labor Day Classic and a homecoming match against Clark Atlanta.

BSC PanthersBSC – It just didn’t feel right to talk about the other institutions today and not mention Birmingham-Southern. Luckily they did have some good news to share with their fans – D3hoops.com has the men’s basketball team ranked No. 11 in the nation. Nice jobs, guys!

Now it’s only a matter of time… until the start of the 2012 college football season.