BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The Magic City Classic is staying at Legion Field at least for the next four years.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin signed the agreement this week with Alabama State and Alabama A&M to keep The Classic at Legion Field through 2022.
"I think that’s a great opportunity for both schools. We love it at Legion Field,” Alabama State alumnus William Black said.
Under the new agreement, both schools will receive more money each year. Right now, schools get a little over $212,000 a year. By 2022, the Hornets and Bulldogs will receive $400,000.
We caught up with ASU and A&M fans at Thursday’s Classic kick off block party at the Boutwell Auditorium. Not only are they excited about this year’s game, but they also are looking forward to staying at Legion Field for the next four years.
"I didn’t know it was that much money but because I work at Alabama A&M, I think it’s a great idea. People don’t have to travel that far so I’m glad it’s going to stay here,” Alabama A&M alumnae Tammy Alexander said.
The city says the contract reflects Mayor Woodfin’s commitment to The Classic and his push to give both schools more money. Fans tell us the Classic is all about community.
“When we travel to Legion Field, we are going through neighborhoods and children are out waving at us and people who live in the homes are asking us to come in. When you walk into the stadium, its just community. It’s like a big family reunion,” Alexander said.
"The tradition. We’ve been doing it for a long time. We’ve got enough room to tailgate. The game is great. The stadium is still in good shape on the field. The stands might not be as great as they used to be but the field is still in good shape,” Black added.
The new contract requires The Classic to be played at Legion Field all four years. We’re told there is talk of possibly moving the game to the new downtown stadium in the future.
The game is one of the city’s largest events and has a multi-million dollar economic impact on the area.