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Scarbo: Don't prop up Legion Field; Birmingham needs a new stadium
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RE: Scarbo: Don't prop up Legion Field; Birmingham needs a new stadium
(12-05-2017 05:52 PM)Blazerstadium Wrote:  
(12-05-2017 12:26 PM)58-56 Wrote:  
(12-05-2017 11:18 AM)Blazerstadium Wrote:  Birmingham has the World Games coming in just a few years, and it will be here fast. They need to do something to facilitate those events. I know Jonathan Austin had purpose lightrail a few years ago, now he is gone and nothing has been said in a couple years about it.

Just wondering, since we don't seem to control the stadium situation in any way, if they were to bandage up LF, would a light rail route from campus to the stadium help in any way???

This argument between the old and a new is so tiring, I just wish something would happen and we could move on. Otherwise we will always be in limbo, and that sucks.

You'd need about a mile to a mile and a half, depending on where on campus you located the station. That's probably $50 to $75 million, making a really raw guess (recent costs have been $43 mill/mile in Norfolk to $205 in Milwaukee). Some expenses would be on the high end since you're not able to spread the cost of the rolling stock over a larger system, though the land should be mostly condemnable.

I love light rail, but it's probably more realistic to build a walkable greenway from campus to Legion Field, connecting to Railroad Park and on to Sloss.

Looking at a map, wonder if they used the existing rail lines from railroad park towards LF, how much would it cost. They could buy land south of LF towards Hwy 11, with a station. Wouldn't drop you further from the stadium then the most eastern part of the existing parking lot.

That was part of Austins idea, was to use existing rail lines.

Side note, I'd like to see the property of LF and Rickwood joined with an entertainment district, hotels, meeting spaces. A lot of money, but would completely change that area of the city.

Light rail's been most successful where it knits together tourist districts, and people want to hop off and on to shop or drink or whatever. And it adds its own coolness to the area.

This line would go through what's essentially a desert, and only have serious ridership six times a year. Maybe again for the Classic, and when South Florida University returns for the bowl. So eight.

If Birmingham were to invest in light rail, it would probably be a better use to link Uptown including a new stadium with Five Points, along a widened 20th Street with the line right down the center stripe. That gives the Southside merchants a piece of the stadium action.

Austin's probably right regarding commuter rail along existing lines being less expensive, but that doesn't make it cheap. It works in Europe where the railroads are nationalized and have a viable passenger service, and the commuter trains are run by the same outfit and can share its infrastructure. We wouldn't have that here and that would put the price tag very high even were the existing lines usable without modification (for one thing, there are very few stations; can't run all the trains between Irondale and Morris Avenue).

I would love to see a walkable greenway to Legion Field, with the band leading the students and fans out there on a Dragon March each gameday morning. Not expensive, improves the city, usable year-round.

As for another entertainment district, a wise economist once told me that "you can't build a viable economy where we're all delivering pizzas to each other." We need solid quality of life (including a modern stadium and sports and concerts to fill it) to attract modern employers. But the entertainment part is a means to that end, not the goal itself.
12-06-2017 08:09 PM
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RE: Scarbo: Don't prop up Legion Field; Birmingham needs a new stadium - 58-56 - 12-06-2017 08:09 PM

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