Bragging rights and sports have always gone hand-in-hand with each other. Teams and players are always competing for the right to brag and pump their chest.
Cities also enjoy showing off venues, always trying to one up their neighbor, its human nature. Last night as the Birmingham Barons beat the Mississippi Braves in front of a packed out ballpark the city had bragging rights.
It was a night that Birmingham could pump its chest and say we have the oldest ballpark in America in Rickwood Field and we have the newest ballpark in America in Regions Field. For the first time in a long time something electric was going on in downtown; a downtown that usually rolls up the sidewalks before sunset. I was born and raised in Birmingham and last night standing in that stadium I felt proud. It's not the biggest park on paper, but it felt big. The park was so open and full of amazing sight lines. I'm not going to keep going on and on hopefully you will go check it out for your selves, but let's just say it was extremely nice.
What's next for sports venues in Birmingham? The CrossPlex is up and going and has been very successful handling Olympic sports. The new baseball stadium is first class and Friends of Rickwood are working on restoring that park in to the gem that it is. But what about football and basketball (isn't this the football capital of the south?). I have lots of respect for Legions Field and all of its history and would love to see it turned into sort of a working museum much like Rickwood, but it's time for a new football venue. I don't think we have to have a new 60,000 seat dome, but what about a 30,000 outdoor venue down on the Southside and sharing it with the Blazers. What about across from the new Uptown Entertainment District we build a nice 20,000 arena with the hopes of the city attracting a future NBA team. I know, I know that's a lot of pie in the sky, but after standing in that stadium last night I see that people who live and work in Birmingham have the right to first class sports venues.
Alabama Tonight Sports Blogger – Patrick Pierce @Patrickp13
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