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Sports in Birmingham, Alabama facts for kids

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Sports in Birmingham, Alabama include several minor league professional teams and college sports. The city of Birmingham and the Birmingham metro area have no major professional sport franchises. The Birmingham area is home to the Birmingham Barons, the AA minor league affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, which plays at Regions Field in the Southside adjacent to Railroad Park. The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB Blazers) has a popular basketball program, and Samford University, located in Homewood, has basketball and football teams. The Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in the suburb of Hoover is home to the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament which drew more than 108,000 spectators in 2006. There is also an amateur soccer association, known as La Liga. The Birmingham area also hosts the Alabama Alliance basketball and Tragic City Rollers roller derby teams.

Birmingham's Legion Field has hosted several college football postseason bowl games, including the Dixie Bowl (1948–49), the Hall of Fame Classic (1977–85), the All-American Bowl (1986–90), the SEC Championship Game (1992–93), the SWAC Championship Game (1999–2012), the Magic City Classic (1946-present) and, currently, the Birmingham Bowl (formerly the BBVA Compass Bowl, 2006–present). The Southeastern Conference, Southwestern Athletic Conference, and Gulf South Conference are also headquartered in Birmingham

In 1996, Legion Field hosted early rounds of Olympic soccer where it drew record crowds. The field has also hosted men's and women's World Cup qualifiers and friendlies. A switch from natural grass to an artificial surface has left the stadium's role as a soccer venue in doubt.

The U.S. Paralympic Training Facility is located in Birmingham and was a primary filming location for the 2005 documentary film Murderball, about wheelchair rugby players.

Recreation

Recreational fishing is also immensely popular in the Birmingham area. Fish have been caught in 14 separate Alabama lakes which would be state records in 35 other states. Recently, Birmingham was named "Bass Capital of the World" by ESPN and Bassmaster magazine. Over the last several years, Birmingham has been home to numerous major fishing tournaments, including the Bass Masters Classic. Some of the more popular recreational lakes around Birmingham include: Smith Lake, Lay Lake, Lake Neely Henry, Lake Logan Martin, Lake Purdy, and Bankhead Reservoir.

Recurring events

Motorsports are very popular in the Birmingham area and across the state, and the area is home to numerous annual motorsport races. the Aaron's 499 & AMP Energy 500 are NASCAR Sprint Cup races that occur in April and October at the Talladega Superspeedway. The Indy Grand Prix of Alabama shares the Barber Motorsports Park road course with Superbike and sports car GrandAm races.

The PGA Champions Tour has had a regular stop in the Birmingham area since 1992, with the founding of the Bruno's Memorial Classic, later renamed the Regions Charity Classic. In 2011 the tournament will be replaced by The Tradition, one of the Champions Tour's five "major" tour events.

Road running events such as the Vulcan 10K Run and Mercedes Marathon/Half Marathon are popular for both locals and out-of-state runners. Cycling (both mountain biking and road) is popular in the area. Nearby Oak Mountain State Park annually hosts the Bump N' Grind mountain bike (1995–present) race and the Xterra Southeast Championship triathlon as well as other endurance competitions.

One-time events

On March 6–8, 2009, Birmingham hosted the U.S.A vs. Switzerland first round tie of the Davis Cup. In which, U.S. won 4–1.

Birmingham has been selected to host the World Games in 2021. It will be the first time that an American city has hosted the event since the inaugural games were held in Santa Clara, CA in 1981.

Venues

Regions Field is the home to the Birmingham Barons baseball team
Regions Field is the home to the Birmingham Barons baseball team
  • BJCC Arena
  • Bartow Arena
  • Boutwell Auditorium
  • Legion Field
  • Hoover Metropolitan Stadium
  • Pelham Civic Center
  • Rickwood Field
  • Fair Park Arena
  • Regions Field
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