| Birmingham Barons
||Double-A Affiliate of the White Sox
Regions Field Facts, Figures & Firsts
Construction cost: $64 million
Financing: Fully publicly funded with the mechanism being a 3.5% increase in the city's lodging tax. The "bed tax" increase, which went into effect on January 15, 2011, is being used to pay back the private placement bonds secured through BBVA Compass ($60 million) and Citizens Trust Bank ($4 million). Birmingham's annual debt service on the bonds is approximately $3,665,000 and they are scheduled to be paid off on October 1, 2041. The city's Public Athletic, Cultural and Entertainment (PACE) Facilities Board administers the loans and their 30-year repayment schedule via a funding agreement reached between the PACE board and City of Birmingham on December 15, 2011.
Architect: HKS (lead) and Hoskins Architecture (local assistance)
General contractors: Robins & Morton and A.G. Gaston Construction, both of which are Birmingham-based
Ceremonial groundbreaking took place on February 2, 2012. On that day, renderings of the ballpark were publicly released for the first time and its name was announced. Four days later construction actually began, thereby making February 6, 2012 the official date upon which construction commenced.
Was the second major development to be completed in Birmingham's new Parkside District. The first was Railroad Park, a 19-acre and $23 million public park that opened to the public on September 18, 2010. Railroad Park and Regions Field are next to each other, separated only by 1st Avenue South.
Is 16.6 miles north of Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, the Barons' suburban home from 1988-2012, and just 2.9 miles east of Rickwood Field, where the Barons first played on August 18, 1910 and continue to play a single home game each year, called the Rickwood Classic, at what's officially America's oldest pro ballpark as a result of that annual game.
Naming rights: Regions Financial Corporation reportedly pays $500,000 per year to brand the ballpark after the Birmingham-based bank. The deal is for 20 years; the dollars were not publicly disclosed but the Barons' lease with Birmingham requires the team to pay the city half of all naming rights revenue and the Barons' annual such payment to the city is $250,000. With that total known, simple arithmetic yields the yearly 500K amount, which translates into Regions paying a total of $10 million over the course of the 20-year agreement.
Owned by the City of Birmingham and operated by the Birmingham Barons.
Per their lease, the Barons pay the City of Birmingham $400,000 in yearly rent. The city also receives a small percentage of suite lease revenue and $1 from every ticket sold after the team has reached the 200,000 attendance mark.
Has 23 suites, all of which are on the first base side of the ballpark, where they are stacked in a two-level structure above the concourse.
Fans who want to see what Michael Jordan looked like wearing a Barons uniform should head to the aisle between sections 112 and 113, where the signage hanging from above the concourse shows "His Airness" sporting the home uni and #45 he wore during the 1994 season, which Jordan spent playing 127 games for the Barons during his famous one season hiatus from the NBA.
The Barons' (home) dugout is on the first base side of the stadium, in front of sections 111-113.
First game: The Birmingham Barons beat the Mississippi Braves, 9-5, on April 10, 2013 before an announced crowd of 8,505
Other ballpark firsts (all of which occurred on 4/10/13, unless noted):
|Pitch ||Batter ||Hit (double) ||Home Run ||Winning Pitcher ||Losing Pitcher ||Save (4/12)
|Nestor Molina ||Philip Gosselin ||Christian Marrero ||Kyle Russell ||Nick McCully ||Aaron Northcraft ||Taylor Thompson