Protective Stadium Traffic & Parking Study

By: Charles Cochran, P.E., PTOE, RSP

The Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex is beginning grading work this month at the site of the future Protective Stadium.  The multi-use stadium will have a 45,000 seat capacity and will serve as the home stadium for UAB’s football team in addition to hosting other athletic events and concerts.  The stadium will be located on the four blocks bound by Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard N, 12th Avenue N, 22nd Street N, and 24th Street N.

To assist with the stadium development, the BJCC hired Sain Associates to complete a traffic and parking study, which included the following primary tasks:

  • Perform AM and PM peak hour capacity analysis to evaluate the effects of the road closures required for the construction of the development.
  • Obtain and review information from comparable sites to aid in predicting arrival and departure habits of event attendees.
  • Perform a parking assessment by analyzing existing parking inventory, estimating future parking demand, and identifying potential future off-site parking locations.
  • Develop recommendations for an event traffic handling plan.

For the parking assessment, we inventoried the existing parking decks, lots, and on-street spaces within a 15 minute (0.6 mile) walking radius.  Then we conducted parking utilization studies on Saturdays and on weeknights.  A survey was conducted at Regions Field during a Birmingham Barons game to determine a typical vehicle occupation rate and transportation mode splits (i.e. passenger vehicle, Uber/Lyft, walk).  We compared the available parking spaces to the projected number of spaces needed during stadium events.  After evaluating these results, we made recommendations that could help to increase vehicle occupation rates or encourage the use of alternative transportation modes.

We had previously completed event traffic handling plans for the Legacy Arena, so those were expanded to account for the vacated road segments and additional traffic expected with the new stadium.  We also made traffic safety recommendations that would help to provide a safer roadway network for vehicles and pedestrians around the stadium. 

This is a very exciting project and a great opportunity for growth for the City of Birmingham.  We were happy to have a role in it.

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