Why is the US Open Cup at The University of Alabama?

Keep an Open Mind. It’s a Good Idea.

It is 55.9 miles from Protective Stadium to Alabama Soccer Stadium. Why in the world would Birmingham Legion FC play a match in Tuscaloosa, Alabama? I get it, I really do. People don’t want to drive an hour midweek just to watch an Open Cup match against Southern States SC Stars.

But that’s the point. People weren’t going to show up in Birmingham either. That sounds incredibly harsh, but it’s true. We could’ve found another venue in Birmingham, but frankly, the facilities at Alabama are amazing. The pitch itself is much nicer than any version of grass we EVER played on at BBVA/PNC Field. The fact is that this was safer than going back to PNC Field.

Alabama Soccer Stadium holds 1,500 people. Be honest with me. Do you, the avid Legion FC fan you are, believe Legion were going to draw 1,500 people for this match? Because I don’t. And even if we did, at PNC Field? It would be a small crowd. At Protective? It wouldn’t exist. Most high schools in Birmingham are bigger than 1,500 people, and the ones that are that small? They are frankly dangerous for the players to play on.

In the end, we need to grow our game. We need to grow our club. While this is Birmingham’s club, we are essentially Alabama’s club as well. I mean, look at our third shirt. Red and White with the state flag on the back. We’re the only fully professional club in the state of Alabama. I know we’re not the Alabama Legion, but we can still be Alabama’s club. There’s no hurt in trying to expand our reach. There’s no other team in Alabama like us. Let’s be Alabama’s club. This is step one in doing so.

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