The Magic City Classic is America's #1 HBCU Classic. Join us as we take a look at the history and the legacy of the Magic City Classic and how things have changed over the years.
The history of the Magic City Classic tells the ultimate story of one of the most epic events in Birmingham. The 78th McDonald’s Magic City Classic, presented by Coca-Cola, is America’s #1 HBCU classic. And, it’s hosted right here in Birmingham at Legion Field.
Unlike some classics, the Magic City Classic has always been played by the same two teams. For 77 years, the two largest historically black universities in the state, Alabama State University (ASU) and Alabama A&M University (AAMU), have competed in the series for the Magic City Classic trophy. To date, there have been 81 total meetings between the schools.
Another fun tradition is all the food and tailgating that takes place just before kickoff. We live in the south and we like to eat some good ole tailgate-style food! There will be no shortage of delicious food so make sure to come early. See the tailgating guide here.
Magic City Classic Parade
The Magic City Classic Parade is the magic of the classic. It is one of the most talked about parades across the nation! You can expect thousands of people to attend the parade each year.
You will be delightfully entertained by the best high school and college bands, dance teams and entertainment around! The parade will be led by the famous McDonald’s float carrying celebrities and the game Ambassador. You won’t want to miss the bands and dance teams from both Alabama State University and Alabama A&M University. This is a rain-or-shine event. The parade will be broadcast LIVE on WBRC FOX6 in Birmingham, as well as the Gray TV affiliates in Huntsville, Montgomery and Dothan!
This year’s parade will be held on Saturday at 8 a.m.
No matter if this is your first time attending the classic or if you’ve been to nearly every game, one thing will remain true and that is the experience has always been the same. You can feel the excitement, you can feel the camaraderie, you can feel the experience of inclusion and togetherness. To some, who won the game doesn’t matter the most. It has always been about the experience. If you haven’t been to the Magic City Classic, you haven’t experienced partying, music, the excitement, or football.
Change in Leadership
Eighteen years ago in 2000, Gene Hallman and the Bruno Event Team took the Magic City Classic to a whole new level. It was at this time that the Magic City Classic became the largest and the #1 HBCU classic in the nation. This took a lot of hard work and effort to make this happen and there are no plans to slow down.
How the classic became the McDonald’s Magic City Classic
On the 75th anniversary of the event in 2016, organizers had the opportunity to rebrand the classic the McDonald’s Magic City Classic presented by Coca-Cola. These iconic brands have contributed a strong leadership for this historical classic.
Magic City Classic 2019 Schedule of Events
WHAT: The Classic Kickoff is the official start of the McDonald’s Magic City Classic presented by Coca-Cola. Come be a part of the school spirit and tradition along with the Alabama A&M and Alabama State cheerleaders. The party will continue into the evening with beats from DJ Chris Coleman, great food, and fun. Join us in kicking off the largest HBCU classic in the country.
WHEN: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24TH, 6 – 9 PM
WHERE: BJCC EAST BALLROOM
2100 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd N, Birmingham, AL 35203
CLASSIC FRIDAY NIGHT
WHAT: Join us for an evening of fun entertainment and kick off Classic Eve with performances from Levelle, Karyn White, The Whispers and headliner Maze featuring Frankie Beverly. The show will be held at the Boutwell Auditorium, 1930 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr. Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35203. The doors open at 6:30 pm and the show begins at 7:30 pm.
WHEN: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25TH | 6:30 PM
WHERE: BOUTWELL AUDITORIUM
WHAT: Join us in the streets of downtown Birmingham and prepare to be entertained by the best bands, dance teams and entertainment around! The parade will be led by the famous McDonald’s float carrying celebrities and the Magic City Classic Ambassador. Don’t miss the bands and dance teams from both Alabama State University and Alabama A&M University as they put on a show! This is a rain-or-shine event, and admission is free. The parade also will be broadcast LIVE on Fox 6 in Birmingham as well as the Raycom affiliates in Huntsville, Montgomery and Dothan!
WHEN: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26TH | 8AM
WHERE: DOWNTOWN BIRMINGHAM
WHAT: There’s no tailgate party in the country like the Coors Light Pregame Tailgate Party at the Magic City Classic. Join the best-dressed fans in college football and get your game face on. Entertainment will be announced soon.
WHEN: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26TH | 10AM – 2PM
WHERE: HISTORIC LEGION FIELD, WEST SIDE PARKING LOT
WHAT: Witness the 78th football clash between Alabama A&M University and Alabama State University, two in-state SWAC rivals who come together every year to put on the No. 1 HBCU Classic in the country. The competition is just as fierce at halftime with the battle of the bands between A&M’s Marching Maroon & White and ASU’s Mighty Marching Hornets. Don’t miss the inventive improv from the game emcee, Birmingham’s own Jermaine “FunnyMaine” Johnson and the special recognition of the 2019 Magic City Classic Ambassador.
WHEN: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26TH | 2:30PM
WHERE: HISTORIC LEGION FIELD IN BIRMINGHAM
Game day parking at Legion Field is extremely limited and is $20 per vehicle. Because of this, there will be a shuttle system available from three different locations that will drop you off at Legion Field and will run continuously throughout the day. Parking is free and shuttle rides are $5 round-trip. Kids 12 and under receive free shuttle rides.
Now that you’re all hyped up for the classic, make sure to get your tickets now!
Reserved tickets are $35. General admission tickets are $25. For more information on tickets, please visit: www.magiccityclassic.com.
All historical photos provided by Alabama State University.
This post sponsored by Adamson Ford.
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