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WHAT’S NEWS IN BIRMINGHAM
Birmingham is attracting convention and leisure visitors with sports, dining, new flights and more.
Birmingham, Ala. ----- With inviting Southern hipness, Birmingham has always been something of a place apart. It’s a city with a striking history, a progressive present, and a shades-on look to the future. Here are just a few of the newest happenings in Birmingham:
- Birmingham is currently the only place in the U.S. you can have dinner at “the most outstanding restaurant in America.” Highlands Bar & Grill recently won the award from the prestigious James Beard Foundation. While they were at it, Highlands also took home the 2018 James Beard Foundation Award for “most outstanding pastry chef in America.” So, in Birmingham, you can have the best dinner in America followed by America’s best dessert.
- Delta Air Lines has added a new non-stop flight from Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport to New York LaGuardia.
- Via Airlines is adding four cities for nonstop service from Birmingham. The regional carrier announced it is adding flights to Mobile, Austin, Pittsburgh and Raleigh, with plans to add more in the future.
- A $123 million expansion and renovation is underway at Legacy Arena at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. Currently with 18,000 seats, the arena is projected to be complete in the winter of 2022.
- Officials broke ground recently on a new $300 million open-air stadium. A recent bond sale brings both a new 55,000-seat stadium and significant upgrades to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex campus. The stadium is projected to be completed in 2021 in time for the World Games in Birmingham. Upgrades to the 18,000-seat Legacy Arena at the BJCC are expected to be finished by 2022.
- On the heels of the successful hosting of the 2018 US Women’s Open, Birmingham is preparing to host the World Games in July 2021. The international event is expected to attract 4,500 athletes from 110 countries to compete in 36 sports over 11 days.
- Professional soccer is in Birmingham in 2019 with a team affiliated with the United Soccer League. Birmingham Legion FC will play its home matches at BBVA Compass Field on the campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
- The Alliance of American Football began professional football in Birmingham in February. The Birmingham Iron plays a 12-week season, with home games at Legion Field before moving to the new stadium at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.
- The Thomas Jefferson Tower is only one of several downtown projects to turn historic buildings into Cinderella stories. The 20-story building was completed in 1929 and has undergone a $30 million redevelopment. It now houses Roots & Revelry, one of the city’s most popular new downtown restaurants.
- The Yard is another full-service restaurant that joined Birmingham’s inventory with the opening of The Elyton Hotel, part of Marriott’s Autograph collection. The long-awaited luxury hotel opened after a $45 million renovation of a historic 1909 downtown office building. The 16-story hotel has 111 rooms and six suites, with The Yard and a rooftop bar. Meeting space is also available.
- Recently opened downtown is Homewood Suites by Hilton. One- and two-bedroom suites have separate living and sleeping areas, with kitchenettes and other amenities. With 105 guest rooms, the hotel has meeting space. The largest meeting room is 1,276 square feet.
- Another hospitality jewel has opened in the historic Five Points South entertainment district. Hotel Indigo is a boutique hotel housed in a 1930s Art Deco building, with a number of high-end restaurants in the vicinity. The hotel has a small meeting room for about 30 people.
- The Lab Bar and Kitchen has opened at Hilton Birmingham on the University of Alabama at Birmingham campus. The hotel recently reopened following a $20 million renovation and rebranding. The restaurant serves up dining with a Southern-inspired and Alabama-sourced menu. The hotel has 17,000 square feet of event space and offers free airport shuttle service.