Don’t you love stories with  happy endings?

Once upon a time in the sleepy village of Birmingham, Alabama, an evil UAB President Ray Watts (or his Trustee Roundtable) made the decision to terminate UAB football.

The UAB students took up arms, the faculty revolted, and the townspeople arose.

Chicken Little ran through the streets yelling, “The sky is falling—the sky is falling.”

There was distrust everywhere.

Dr. Watts was the Big Bad Wolf—and he was going to blow our UAB house down.

But then a miracle happened…

Glinda, the good witch of the South, smiled down on UAB and as quickly as you can say ‘Abracadabra,’ beauty kissed the beast, the ugly duckling matured into a swan, and UAB turned into a handsome prince…

  • UAB football was reinstated
  • A new athletic director was selected
  • Generous business people donated much needed money at the 11th hour
  • Coach Bill Clark signed a five year contract
  • A new football facility was announced
  • The UA Board of Trustees committed to support a long term lease for a new football stadium
  • A study was initiated by the BJCC that will likely result in a new stadium
  • The UAB football foundation was established
  • UAB football recruiting is going better than expected*
  • UAB revealed its 2017 non-conference football schedule

Kind of takes your breath away.

When the history of UAB is written, this past year will go down as one of the greatest years in UAB and Birmingham history.

It’s difficult to comprehend, but one the best things that may have ever happened to UAB and Birmingham will be the termination of UAB football.

We reaffirmed what we already knew–Birmingham’s not going anywhere without UAB and UAB is not going anywhere without Birmingham.

We proved—maybe for the first time ever– that we could work together as a community to achieve a meaningful goal.

And we will never be able to use the excuse again that we in Birmingham are losers and we cannot do anything right.

This is truly a Birmingham and UAB fairy tale.

And here’s our happy ending…

“Everyone lived happily ever after.”

*According to Kevin Scarbinsky: The latest bright spot is the mid-year signing class of 19 players. It’s the top-rated class in Conference USA, and it includes players who started their college careers at Alabama, Notre Dame, LSU, Georgia and Michigan State.

Let’s turn Birmingham around.  Click here to sign up for our newsletter.  There’s power in numbers. (Opt out at any time)

Christopher Nanni, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham.
Christopher Nanni, Community Foundation
of Greater Birmingham.
Chief A.C. Roper Birmingham Police Department
Chief A.C. Roper
Birmingham Police Department
Today’s guest bloggers are Christopher Nanni and Chief A.C. Roper. 
ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham. 
If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.
If you could prevent people from killing others, would you do something about it?


ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Maggie Belshe (pictured in photo below).  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

I’ve lived in Birmingham about four months now, and people still ask me where I’m from. I grew up in San Francisco, and went to school in New York.

The next question is inevitably some variation of “what brought you to Birmingham?” The short answer is Venture for America– a two-year fellowship in which recent graduates gain hands-on experience building a company under the guidance of an entrepreneur.


Birmingham Crossplex–$100 million impact—gets a bad rap

Faye Oates, Birmingham Crossplex, Director

Faye Oates, Birmingham Crossplex, Director

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Faye Oates.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

The news media consistently reports the west side of Birmingham as a haven of crime and mayhem.

The news media very rarely reports on the west side residents who go to work every day, maintain their homes impeccably, and are committed to having a great neighborhood.

The news media rarely reports all the great things happening on the west side like the resurgence of downtown Ensley, the $7 million expansion of Limbaugh Toyota, and the Birmingham Crossplex – the crown jewel of 5 Points West.

Crossplex is jumping and growing

The Birmingham Crossplex was completed in 2011 and is 750,000 square foot, multipurpose athletic competition and meeting facility located in the heart of 5 Points West.

The world class facility boasts a 6 lane Mondo hydraulic track which is one of only 8 tracks of this type in the World and one of 6 in the Country.

The athletic facility also features a 50 meter indoor, Olympic size swimming pool, and the 5,000 seat Bill Harris Arena. 

With over 170 events and 175,000 spectators, coaches and athletes annually, the place is jumping to say the least.

Birmingham Crossplex TrackThe Birmingham Crossplex plays host to a variety of events:

  • AHSAA Super Regional High School Wrestling
  • 16 NCAA National Championships including the 2016 Division I Track and Field National Championship
  • Emory University Swim Invitational
  • Birmingham Southern Swim Invitational
  • 7 College Conference Indoor Track & Field Championship
  • AHSAA State Volleyball Championship

The 2015 – 16 indoor track seasons will be the busiest in the history of the facility.

The success story of Westside is being written

Birmingham Crossplex NatatoriumSure, we have some work to do on this side of town, but the entire region still has work to do.  The success story of Woodlawn, Parkside, Lakeview and the resurgence of the City’s Center is being told.

The success of the Westside and its story is still being written.

According to the CVB, the Birmingham CrossPlex has an annual economic impact of $100 million dollars.

Great things are happening on the Westside and better things are still to come.  As the Director of this beautiful facility, I ask you to learn and support the revitalization of this west side.

I also invite you to visit, tour, and attend any of the hundreds of events hosted here each year!

Faye Oates has over 15 years of event experience managing major events including the SEC Baseball Tournament, the Magic City Classic, NCAA Championships, Davis & Fed Cups, AHSAA High School Championship Sports, and more.  Mrs. Oates was named the Birmingham CrossPlex Director in July of 2014.  Married with two children, Mrs. Oates is a native and current resident of Birmingham. 

Let’s turn Birmingham around.  Click here to sign up for our newsletter.  There’s power in numbers. (Opt out at any time)

Birmingham Post-Herald (BPH) is Birmingham, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

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