September 24, 2017 in Community, and Projects

The Return of UAB Football

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.

UAB Football Ops + Legacy Pavilion Ribbon Cutting

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.

The connected Legacy Pavilion features a 100-yard turf field covered by a pavilion roof but without walls. A first-of-its-kind facility on the collegiate level, the structure will allow UAB athletes to practice on a full-sized field during inclement weather, in addition to blocking out radiating heat from the sun and allowing breeze to circulate through the open sides.
UAB Football Ops + Legacy Pavilion Yann Coach Clark Jeffrey
GMC Sports VP Yann Cowart, UAB Football Head Coach Bill Clark and GMC Regional President Jeffrey Brewer

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 made their historic return to the gridiron on Sept. 2 at Legion Field, beating Alabama A&M 38-7.

(Video: UAB Athletics)