Agreement reached to keep Magic City Classic at ‘The Old Gray Lady’

Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 7:25 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Budget and Finance Committee of the Birmingham City Council voted Monday to keep the Magic City Classic at Legion Field – at least for the next four years.

The “Old Gray Lady” has been the home of the Magic City Classic since 1940, and for many it’s more than just an annual rivalry between Alabama A & M and ASU; it’s a tradition and city-wide family reunion.

The contract between the City of Birmingham and the two universities expired after the 81st annual Magic City Classic, which was a little over two weeks ago.

There was growing speculation that the classic would leave Legion Field going to Protective Stadium or leave the city entirely.

But the city negotiated with both schools coming to an agreement for them to stay.

The Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau said the event brings about $25 million to the Birmingham-metro area each year—and with the city council’s vote, the tradition will continue.

“So, everything that’s in the actual agreement are pretty much carbon copies of everything that has already been agreed upon from transportation to in-kind services for police and fire services and EMS and like I said the only changes is just the financial contribution to both schools,” said Chief of Operations for City of Birmingham, Chaz Mitchell.

The previous contract had an escalator in it that would increase every year by about $50,000.

Both universities received $400,000 from the city following the game, this year.

Under the new four-year contract, each university will receive a flat fee of $500,000 per year until the contract expires in 2026.

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