A new deal between the city of Birmingham and Alabama A&M have reached an agreement to keep the Magic City Classic there at Legion Field.
The new agreement calls for a four-year extension of the current contract for the matchup against SWAC rival Alabama State. That extension was already previously signed by ASU, but Alabama A&M needed “a healthy dialogue” to agree to the terms. Both Alabama State and Alabama A&M will be paid $500,000 each by the City of Birmingham per year.
“The University thanks Mayor [Randall] Woodfin and his team for working to reach an amicable solution and looks forward to the 82nd playing of the Magic City Classic in October.”
Alabama A&M has not signed an agreement with the Alabama Sports Council (ASC), the nonprofit entity that oversees production of the event. ASC has offered a package of $700,000. That combination would pay both schools $1.2 million per year — the largest revenue the two SWAC programs have ever received for packing the city and bringing in fans from around the country.
The snag in the negotiations has been the length of the contract. Alabama A&M’s general counsel has communicated that it would prefer a two-year deal. The Alabama Sports Counsel is still pushing for four years.
“The Alabama Sports Council is working diligently to get our management agreement finalized for the Classic,” Gene Hallman, CEO of Eventive, which produces the Magic City Classic told AL.com. “We are exploring alternative measures to achieve this goal.”
Eventive VP Amateur Sports Perren King says further delays are putting financial benefits in jeopardy.
“In the highest form of transparency, time is what has my team the most concerned as we sit here without the ability to act on behalf of the event. To be very candid, getting started on an event of this magnitude being this far behind could have dire consequences for the 2023 Magic City Classic.”