Birmingham CrossPlex | lands 11 NCAA events


Birmingham CrossPlex lands 11 NCAA events over next 4 years


By Jonathan Hardison – bio | email
Source: WBRC video
Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -The Birmingham CrossPlex today landed 11 men’s or women’s NCAA Championship events over the next four years.City officials say a lot of that comes from the success of last year’s NCAA Winter Festival and are already figuring out how to use today’s announcement to sell developers on the Five Points West area.A Birmingham official say it was a test of the CrossPlex building’s ability to host major events, and it appears the facility and the city passed.”There has not been a person that’s been here that did not celebrate after they leave, telling everybody how great CrossPlex is,” said Jarvis Patton, Mayor Bell’s Chief of Operations.”As a result of what happened this year, we’re adding another 50-meter pool because we could not accommodate all the people,” Patton said.

But there is a problem the city is trying to address before some of these events come to town.

“Right now most of the groups will have to come in and go to downtown for a quality hotel stay,” said Edrick Harris of HJ Russell & Company developers. “So we’re, one, looking to bring a hotel. We’re also looking to bring some additional eateries as far as restaurants, again looking at what’s already in the neighborhood, trying to bring a diverse offering of what’s here around CrossPlex.”

An Atlanta developer is looking to develop the 30-50 acres around the CrossPlex, possibly beginning work next summer and opening some of the venues in 2015.

“Last year on any given day when there was a major event here, every food eatery in this place sold out of food,” Patton said. “That tells you what the impact is. So we want more of that.”

One of the major criticisms the CrossPlex has faced from some city council members is that it doesn’t even break even, much less make a profit. Patton says that’s not part of the plan.

“This will not be self-sufficient,” Patton said. “This facility will never be self-sufficient, wasn’t designed to be. What happens is the spin-off effect. All the things that are coming around these 30-something acres of land, that’s gonna be filled in.”

Copyright 2013 WBRC. All rights reserved.