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In the Community

Celebrating one year of Protective Stadium

Protective Stadium officially opened its doors on Oct. 2, 2021 — a testament to the many local leaders, companies and entities across the community who came together to accomplish the goal of creating a much-needed venue to move Birmingham forward. In the year since, the stadium has hosted college football, a 10-day international multi-sport competition, a sold-out concert by a country music legend and more.  

Let’s celebrate Protective Stadium’s first year by looking back at the incredible events that put Birmingham on the map and brought our community together. 


Protective symbol made by drone show over Protective Stadium

Sign lighting and opening day

In September 2021, Protective employees, elected officials, business and community leaders, and project partners gathered to commemorate the sign lighting at Protective Stadium.

The event also featured Alabama’s first-ever drone show 400 feet in the sky, including 60 drones timed with lighted audience wristbands, counting down to the lighting of Protective Stadium’s new indigo sign.

Attendees also heard a poem from Trysten Manning, an eighth grader at Phillips Academy, who was the winner of the Protective Stadium poetry contest. The winning poem, “Still, My Steel City,” will go in the stadium’s time capsule. 

Experience the event for yourself by watching the recap of the celebration.

Sun setting over Protective Stadium as UAB plays their home opener

UAB Football at Protective Stadium 

Following the sign lighting, on Oct. 2, we cheered on the UAB Blazers at their first home opener at Protective Stadium. 

During UAB’s 2021 season we recognized community organizations through our Most Valuable Protector (MVP) program at each home game. Five community organizations received pre-game hospitality, in-game recognition and a donation from the Protective Life Foundation.

Protective collaborated with local apparel brand Fly V to create a commemorative hat sold at UAB’s 2021 home football games. Proceeds from the hat were split between Fly V and the Penny Foundation, which distributes funds through grants to Birmingham’s Northside communities that surround Protective Stadium.

The Blazers finished the 2021 season at 9-4 overall and defeated No. 13 BYU in the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl at Independence Stadium. 

Protective Stadium empty with Birmingham skyline in the background.

AHSAA football championship returns to Birmingham

The Alabama High School Athletic Association (ASHAA) football championship, known as the Super 7, returned to Birmingham for the first time since 2008 in December 2021 and was kicked off with the historical first girls’ flag football tournament championship. 

The multi-day event included high school football teams from each of Alabama’s seven classifications (1A through 7A) competing for their class's state championship trophy at Protective Stadium. 

The championship game was the beginning of a contract that will put the seven title games on a three-year rotation in Alabama with Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Auburn.

Protective Stadium filled with fans during the Birmingham Bowl.

First sold-out event: TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl

On Dec. 28, 2021, the Auburn Tigers faced off against the Houston Cougars for the Birmingham Bowl hosted at Protective Stadium. This was the first event at the Stadium to officially sell out. Despite a loss for the Auburn Tigers, the pep rally, Tiger Walk and fireworks made it a sell-out to remember.

Legion FC teammates take the field in Protective Stadium

Legion FC moves to Protective Stadium

Welcome home! In 2022, Protective Stadium became the home to Legion FC, Birmingham's professional soccer team. When Legion made the move, the stadium's versatility was put to the test with hosting both football and soccer and updating the field lines, but thanks to committed facilities and grounds crews, the stadium was able to quickly adapt.

USFL game being played in Protective Stadium

Welcome to Birmingham, USFL

The United States Football League (USFL), an American professional football league featuring eight teams, made its debut in Birmingham, Alabama in 2022 with the support from the City of Birmingham, BJCC, Birmingham Park and Recreation Board and the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau. 

This collaboration enabled all eight teams to reside in downtown hotels within walking distance to Protective Stadium, practice and training facilities, offices and other amenities. The inaugural game was held in April at Protective Stadium featuring the New Jersey Generals against the Birmingham Stallions. 

Garth Brooks poses with Protective employee and snapshot of Protective Stadium during the Garth Brooks concert.

First stadium concert: Country music legend, Garth Brooks

You can blame it all on our roots when we showed up in boots for the first concert at Protective Stadium. Garth Brooks made his way back to Birmingham, Alabama after seven years, packing the stadium full of country music fans from all over the state and beyond.

Lionel Richie performing in Protective Stadium

The World Games 2022

As Birmingham prepared to host The World Games 2022, Protective hosted high school students from Breakthrough Birmingham and other organizations for the Inaugural Leadership Academy at Protective Stadium.

Leadership Academy gave aspiring students an exclusive look at the business behind The World Games 2022 and provided inspirational messages of leadership from those who made the Games a success behind the scenes.

On July 7, Protective Stadium welcomed 3,600 athletes from over 100 countries to Birmingham for The World Games 2022 Opening Ceremony. Following the 10 days of competitions, including drone racing hosted at the stadium, athletes, volunteers and fans were welcomed back for the closing ceremony at Protective Stadium, which featured a performance by Alabama native and four-time Grammy winner Lionel Richie.

Protective employees volunteering to clean-up around Protective Stadium posing for photo

Giving back through Protecting Good

The Protecting Good program was launched by Protective in collaboration with the City of Birmingham and the State Department of Insurance. Together, we work to identify ways to give back to Northside Birmingham residents who live near Protective Stadium.

Protecting Good’s intention is to focus on neighborhood wellness, support, and initiatives focused on the betterment of the communities, such as cleanup days and roof installations. So far, this collaboration has provided 61 homes with roofs, with more to come.

Protective Stadium is an example of how the right partners came together after years of discussion to finally bring a transformational project to life for the betterment of our community, city and region. Protective is honored to be a part of Birmingham’s future by committing to a project that will continue to shine a positive light on our city and serve as a gathering place for our community.

Learn more about Protective and Protective Stadium.

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