Birmingham leaders look to build new baseball stadium downtown

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Birmingham is one step closer to getting a new baseball stadium and a 4-star hotel. City councilors okayed the two projects on Tuesday with the intention of raising the lodging tax to pay for them.

If it happens, the baseball park would be an extension of Birmingham's brand new Railroad Park that opened over the weekend.

Mayor William Bell is not going into specifics just yet over who will play at the park, but he says the city will not spend any money to build the park without securing a team.

The purpose of Tuesday's vote was for councilors to agree to intend to increase the lodging tax to pay for the new stadium and a Westin Hotel. They voted unanimously to more than double that tax, bringing it to 6.5%.

Councilors say it is all in the name of progress.

"We will build something and be remembered for generations for bringing baseball back to Birmingham," said Councilor Johnathan Austin.

"I look forward to the day I can buy popcorn, hotdog and watch 9 innings in downtown Birmingham with my son," said Councilor Jay Roberson.

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