Birmingham residents protest new stadium funding, state senate approves it unanimously anyway

Still on the road, but just wanted to chime in briefly to note these two headlines from Birmingham:

Opposition to proposed downtown Birmingham stadium grows

Car lease tax for BJCC stadium approved by Alabama Senate

In short: Residents of the neighborhood around Legion Field are upset that the city and state would be spending money on building a new stadium, leaving their 90-year-old one pretty much redundant. The state senate, meanwhile, went ahead and voted unanimously to approve a 3% car rental tax surcharge to help pay for the new stadium, which will mostly be used for University of Alabama-Birmingham football and for Birmingham Legion F.C., a USL expansion franchise starting play next year.

A vote on the car tax still needs to take place in the state house, where a bill is being proposed to instead raise it by 6%, with the additional money to go toward tourism and economic development in other parts of the city. That does not necessarily sound like a better idea, and it’s unclear whether it would make Legion Field neighbors happy, but debating over whether to spend a bunch of money on an unneeded stadium or twice as much money on an unneeded stadium and possible other unneeded projects is about par for the course of how I’d expect these things to go.