When it launches for the 2019 USL season, Birmingham Legion FC will play its home games at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) expanded stadium.
Under the current terms, Legion FC would play its home games at UAB’s existing soccer facility. The venue would be expanded to accommodate the club, with seating for 4,500 to 5,000 spectators and other amenities. Legion FC would commit to an eight-year lease once the expansion is complete, while UAB’s men’s and women’s soccer teams would continue to use the facility.
The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees physical properties committee approved the agreement on Thursday, with the full university System Board of Trustees set to consider it on Friday. More from AL.com:
Birmingham Legion FC will play its home games at UAB following the completion of a stadium expansion by the university. The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees physical properties committee approved a $7.3 million expansion of UAB’s current soccer stadium during its board meeting on Thursday. Legion FC will sign an eight-year lease with UAB after the completion of the venue. The full UA System Board of Trustees is expected to ratify the approved plan on Friday.
The new soccer stadium’s grandstand will seat between 4,500 to 5,000 fans, according to the terms of the lease. Concessions and restrooms will be expanded, and alcohol will be served during games.
“It accomplishes a lot because it’s right downtown and the location is perfect,” Legion FC president Jay Heaps said. “The field itself is a big, beautiful soccer pitch, and as big as it gets, but with the renovations you’re seeing the atmosphere is going to be absolutely perfect for professional soccer and all soccer in that regard.”
USL announced last August that it would add a Birmingham team in 2019, while the Legion FC branding was unveiled last month.