The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), along with BBVA Compass and Birmingham Legion FC, has broken ground on the stadium expansion project.
The expanded BBVA Compass Field stadium will include a 4,000-seat grandstand, a permanent concessions stand, bathrooms and ticket office.
An additional 40×20 video board will be provided to improve the fan experience.
When complete, the expansion will provide BBVA Compass Field a maximum capacity of nearly 6,000, and UAB men’s and women’s soccer and the Legion FC will call BBVA Compass Field home.
The stadium expansion is expected to be completed in March 2019.
UAB director of athletics Mark Ingram said: “These renovations are going to make our venue one of the best on-campus soccer stadiums in the country and we can’t thank BBVA Compass and Legion FC enough for helping support this project.
“This partnership gives us 20 additional opportunities to have the city of Birmingham and surrounding area on our campus to witness first-hand the transformations that are taking place within UAB Athletics and the university as a whole.”
BBVA Compass Field, which made its debut in December 2015, was named after the BBVA Compass Foundation’s $1.5m gift to the university.
The first competition was held in October 2015 with the UAB women’s and men’s teams playing their final home matches of the season on the pitch.
BBVA Compass president and CEO Onur Genç said: “When we committed our gift to BBVA Compass Field, we had hoped the pitch would become a gathering place that showcased UAB’s importance to Birmingham’s culture and community.
“Today, that importance has been cemented with the groundbreaking for the field’s expansion, which will feature one of the world’s most popular sports at both the collegiate and professional level.
“We are proud to have our name associated with this investment in the community, and proud of the opportunity it has provided Birmingham.”
Birmingham’s Legion FC, the city’s new USL pro soccer franchise, was officially announced in 2017 and its inaugural season is slated for 2019.