Birmingham, Ala. – The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Football program kicked off a new era with the grand opening of the Football Operations Center and Legacy Pavilion. Fans, students, donors and community members came out in droves to join UAB Athletics for the official ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, Aug. 18.
Several guest speakers took the podium, all of which were major players in bringing back the Blazers’ football program, including UAB President Dr. Ray Watts, City of Birmingham Mayor William Bell, City Council members Jonathan Austin and Sheila Tyson, Jefferson County Commissioner Sandra Little Brown, UAB Director of Athletics Mark Ingram, Head Football Coach Bill Clark, CEO and President of Legacy Community Federal Credit Union Joe McGee and Chairman of UAB Athletics Campaign Committee Hatton Smith.
Ingram expressed his gratitude to those whose contributions made the new athletic facility a reality. “Whether you made a seven-figure gift, gave us a dollar or bought a t-shirt, you’ve made a difference. You’ve made a difference in our program, you’ve made a difference in our community, and you’ve made UAB the envy of every athletic program in America. When you tour through this facility you’re going to see why.”
Attendees were given the opportunity to do just that following the ribbon cutting ceremony. Guests toured the 46,000-square-foot Football Operations Center, making their way through the weight room, locker room, training room, offices and meeting and film rooms. The facility also encompasses a kitchen and dining area, including a “fuel zone” to provide athletes with proper nutrition before, during and after training.
GMC designed the Football Operations Center and Legacy Pavilion in partnership with HOK, and provided architectural, civil engineering, landscape architecture and geotechnical services for the $22.5 million project.
The Blazers will make their historic return to the gridiron on Sept. 2 as they take on Alabama A&M at Legion Field. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m.
(Video: UAB Athletics)