Alabama A&M agrees to 4-year Magic City Classic deal with Birmingham

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AAMU signed an agreement this week for 4 more years of the Magic City Classic in Birmingham. (Jacob Blankenship/Hville Blast)

After some holdout and negotiating, it looks like the Magic City Classic — one of the most famous rivalries in HBCU football — will stay at Birmingham’s Legion Field for a few more years at least.

Alabama A&M had waited more than six months to agree to the deal. Here’s what we know:

The new agreement for the Magic City Classic

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The Magic City Classic draws thousands of people and million of dollars to Birmingham each year. (AAMU Athletics)

After a healthy dialogue with the City of Birmingham, Alabama A&M University earlier this week signed the Magic City Classic agreement with the City of Birmingham. The execution solidifies that the Classic will be played at historic Legion Field for an additional four years.

The 2022 Magic City Classic, which resulted in a comeback win by Alabama State, was the last game played under the previous agreement. Alabama State signed the agreement with Birmingham relatively soon after the game, but A&M officials were not as eager to sign.

Earlier in November, the Birmingham City Council Budget and Finance committee approved an agreement that would keep the Magic City Classic at Legion Field, which the Council unanimously approved weeks later.

According to a report by, Alabama A&M attorney Rochelle A. Conley said AAMU disagreed with “a provision in the agreement with the city restricting either school from entering into an agreement with a third party regarding the location of the Classic for ninety days following the 2026 game.”

Conley said in a letter to the city that AAMU would prefer a two-year contract over a four-year contract. However, the negotiations resulted in AAMU signing on for another four years.

“The University thanks Mayor 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.”

Statement from Alabama A&M University

Both universities received $400,000 from the city following the game in 2022, and under the new four-year contract, each university will receive $500,000 per year from the City of Birmingham and a guaranteed $7,000 minimum from and the Alabama Sports Council, the nonprofit entity that oversees production of the event.

The 2023 Magic City Classic

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The Magic City Classic is scheduled for October 29 this year. (Jacob Blankenship/Hville Blast)

This year’s Magic City Classic is scheduled for October 29, with a 2:30PM kickoff. This year’s game is considered a “home game” for Alabama State.

Talk of moving the game out of Birmingham was not seriously considered, although talk of moving the game to the new Protective Stadium in downtown Birmingham (currently home to UAB football) was a real possibility.

However, the 45,000-seat Protective Stadium may be too small to contain a crowd that normally packs the 70,000-seat Legion Field. For now, the game will remain at Birmingham’s “Old Grey Lady.”

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Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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