Birmingham is getting a new professional football team and Legion Field is getting a new tenant.
The Alliance of American Football League, led by television and film producer Charlie Ebersol and former NFL executive Bill Pollian, announced Monday it will include Birmingham in its initial eight-team line up. The league’s leaders will be in Birmingham Wednesday to reveal the team’s head coach and additional details.
Orlando, Atlanta, Memphis, Salt Lake, Phoenix and San Diego, also will have teams. The eighth team has not been named.
League play begins in February and will continue through April with a championship game at the end of the month, according to the league’s media advisory.
Announcement of the new team comes as Birmingham city leaders look to increase the number of events at Legion Field as it grapples with the future of the historic stadium. A new football stadium is being built downtown near the BJCC.
Birmingham has been working a while to get a new team in the city, says Councilman William Parker. He is chairman of the council’s Park and Recreation Committee.
“We’re excited to be part of the Alliance of American Football League, and we’re looking forward to bringing home a championship,” he says.
The Birmingham team’s home games will be played at Legion Field, city officials say.
The announcement of Birmingham’s Alliance of American Football team marks the sixth time the city has hosted a professional football team at Legion Field.
The first was the Birmingham Americans in 1974. That team was affiliated with World Football League. Its named changed in 1975 to the Birmingham Vulcans.
In 1983, the Birmingham Stallions of the USFL (United States Football League) came to town and stayed until 1985.
Other teams included the Birmingham Fire of the World League of American Football, 1991-1992; Birmingham Barracudas of the Canadian Football League, 1995; and the Birmingham Thunderbolts of the XFL in 2001.