Legion Field Stadium
In 1926, construction began on an unpretentious facility that would seat 21,000 spectators. The stadium consisted of the west stands, a press box, and a small seating area on the east side. In 1927, as a means of honoring and providing a memorial to the American Legion and those who gave service and their life to this country, the stadium became known as Legion Field.
In the dedication game of the stadium, before 16, 800 fans, Howard College (now Samford University) defeated Birmingham-Southern College by a score of 9-0. Many prominent coaches, athletes and public figures have graced the sidelines of the stadium now affectionately referred to as the "Old Gray Lady," notably Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, Coach Eddie Robinson, John Stallworth, Joe Namath, Kenny Stabler, Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Terry Beasley, just to name a few.
Today, Legion Field proudly offers its home field advantage to the Blazers of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who continue to add to the storied ledger of this formidable landmark.
LEGION FIELD CHRONOLOGY:
1926: Construction begins on Legion Field, a 21,000-seat stadium, at a cost of $439,000.
Nov. 19, 1927: Legion Field debuts as Howard College shuts out Birmingham-Southern College 9-0.
November 2, 1946: Alabama A&M and Alabama State play the first Magic City Classic.
1948: With an assist from the legislature, Alabama and Auburn renew rivalry after 41-year feud. Tigers claw way to 55-0 victory.
1970: natural grass removed in favor of Poly-Turf. An artificial surface remains in place for the next 25 years.
November 28, 1981: Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant became the winningest coach in college football history with his 315th career win as Alabama beat Auburn 28-17.
1995: Artificial surface removed, replaced with Bermuda grass to meet requirements to host 1996 Olympic soccer matches.
1996: Olympics come to Legion Field, USA vs. Argentina men’s soccer match draws capacity crowd.
1998: Final Iron Bowl played at Legion Field, as Crimson Tide rolls to 31-17 win.
1999: The annual Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championship is played at Legion Field.
2005: Upper deck (9,000 seats) dismantled.
2006: FieldTurf artificial grass surface installed.
2006: Inaugural PapaJohns.Com Bowl, December 23. The University of South Florida Bulls beat the East Carolina University Pirates, 24 – 7.