It’s not too late to jump on the Birmingham Iron bandwagon.
The new Alliance of American Football league has created some buzz nationwide, including in the Magic City. And now with the inaugural season underway, it’s the perfect time to plan your trip to Legion Field.
Not convinced? Here are 5 reasons to go support the hometown team!
1. It’s football
Simply put, you won’t get your football fix anywhere else.
Noted by the AAF’s motto of “Football doesn’t end in February,” scheduling was strategically planned to provide a football-loving audience what they crave during the months no other league is playing.
And, to give the AAF its due, the league’s product is worth watching.
The AAF features some high-scoring offenses and hard-hitting defense, each comprised of players you’ll recognize from college football and NFL ranks.
The season is underway, but there are more opportunities to see the Iron.
Here’s the full schedule:
- Week 1: Birmingham 26, Memphis 0 (home)
- Feb. 16 – Birmingham 12, Salt Lake 9 (home)
- Feb. 24 – Birmingham 28, Atlanta 12 (away)
- March 3 – San Antonio 12, Birmingham 11 (home)
- March 9 – Orlando 31, Birmingham 14
- March 17 – Birmingham at San Diego, 7 p.m.
- March 24 – Birmingham at Memphis, 7 p.m.
- March 31 – Atlanta at Birmingham, 3 p.m.
- April 7 – Birmingham at Arizona, 7 p.m.
- April 14 – Birmingham at Orlando, 2:30 p.m.
2. Familiar faces
The Iron as a team might be new, but the players aren’t necessarily. The AAF strategically compiled rosters taking regional interest into account, and Alabama and Auburn fans will likely appreciate the consideration.
Former Crimson Tide players are stacked throughout the roster, with 10 former Alabama players now wearing the black and gray. Of the 10 running backs, Trent Richardson holds the spotlight as the team’s star running back.
Other former Alabama players include:
- Quarterback Blake Sims
- Center J.C. Hassenauer
- Offensive tackle Dominick Jackson
- Offensive tackle Korren Kirven
- Offensive tackle Brandon Green
- Defensive tackle Josh Frazier
- Linebacker Xzavier Dickson
- Defensive back Bradley Sylve
- Long snapper Cole Mazza
There are four former Auburn players on the roster, including Quan Bray, who returns punts and lines up at wide receiver. Offensive guard Avery Young and defensive backs Ryan White and Trovon Reed are also Iron players.
Wide receiver DeVozea Felton (Tuskegee), linebacker Jonathan Massaquoi (Troy) and linebacker Shaheed Salmon (Samford) also have state ties.
3. The price is right
You seriously can’t beat the ticket price of Iron games.
In an age when college football and NFL tickets often have face values of more than $100, you can get a seat in Legion Field for less than $20. And you could buy a season ticket for less than $100.
Single-game ticket prices vary by section:
- Sections 5, 15, 16, 30, 31, 32, 39, 40, 41 — $18.65
- Sections 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 17, 29, 33, 34, 37, 38 — $29.31
- Sections 35 and 36 — $40.86
- Sections 10 and 11 — $152.77
- Miners Club and Iron Village Club — $198.96
You can see full-season ticket pricing below.
(Source: Birmingham Iron)
4. Getting it right where others are wrong
Sure, you love football, but you probably don’t love everything about it. What annoys you most about college of the NFL? Officials? TV timeouts? How the game is turning soft?
Well, the AAF has addressed many of those issues. In fact, the league has its own rule-book – and it’s pretty awesome.
For starters, there are no kickoffs or extra points. Teams automatically start on the 25 yard line. And, after a touchdown, teams line up for a 2-point conversion.
There are also no TV timeouts, which drops the time to complete games substantially.
And, most importantly, hard hits are welcome. See exhibit A:
A few neat features for viewers at home is that head coaches and one player on each team have a live mic. The replay official is also mic’d up, which allows viewers to watch him or her review a play and see what goes into the decision of a play being confirmed, standing or being reversed.
5. For the love of the city
Football fans in Birmingham are passionate about their teams. There’s no better example that the support UAB has received since The Return in 2017.
It’s been only months since the Blazers, also frequently called “Birmingham’s Team,” averaged a program-high 24,201 fans per home game, which came during a historic season that included breaking many records.
So how about Birmingham’s professional team?
The support for the Iron started in high numbers, with more than 17,000 fans embarking on Legion Field for the team’s debut. If similar crowds continue, and if the Iron keeps dominating on the field, the team and fans would have the ability to create something previous pro teams in Birmingham were unable to do.
There have been many doubters after the numerous professional teams in Birmingham have failed. But the Iron are here now, so why not support the local team?