BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – In less than two weeks, SEC student-athletes can return to campus for voluntary workouts, and the Bruno Event Team believes that’s a step in the right direction to having football season this fall.
“That’s great news, but it’s one of many steps that must play out, but it was a significant step because these student-athletes did not have spring practice and this brings us one step closer to having a season this fall,” said Bruno Event Team CEO Gene Hallman.
Friday, May 22, the SEC announced student-athletes could return to campus for voluntary in-person workouts on June 8th, as long they follow guidelines from the CDC and their institution.
Former Alabama defensive back Rashad Johnson believes there’s no right or wrong answer to this decision. “I think it may be a better idea to get them into a normal inclusive environment and then you can monitor a little bit about what they’re doing in a controlled event and knowing that the equipment is clean,” Johnson said.
The Bruno Event Team, who controls both the Tide and Tigers gameday operations is optimistic football season will be played this fall with fans in the stands.
“Ticket and parking sales are on track with previous years so fans aren’t holding back, they’re operating under the assumption that crowds will be in those stadiums,” Hallman added.
How many fans? That’s to be determined, but we know one thing is for sure. “This will be a football season like we’ve never imagined,” said Hallman.
As far as SEC Media Days in Atlanta in mid-July, Commissioner Greg Sankey has not made a decision, but the conference is currently working on contingency plans.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The World Games are about a year and a half away. On Tuesday, the Board of Directors announced the appointment of their new CEO, Nick Sellers.
The new CEO is already hitting the ground running. Sellers sat down with Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin to discuss what the next 19 months of planning will look like.
Sellers said he has already made a commitment to the mayor on his first day on the job.
“It was very important to the mayor that this is an event that will create shared prosperity for the community,” he said. “And I committed to him that that will be my goal.”
The World Games is expected to generate an estimated $256 million in economic impact for the Magic City. Gene Hallman, with Bruno Event Planning, said they’re on track to meeting their fundraising goal.
“We’re well north of halfway there in terms of raising the money to cover the expenses,” Hallman said.
The World Games have not been in the US since the inaugural competition in 1981.
“I couldn’t be more excited about it. It truly is a once in a lifetime experience for Birmingham and the state of Alabama really,” Sellers said.
Homeland Security will be overseeing security for the World Games, working alongside city, county and state law enforcement. Hallman said more details will be released early next year.
“We fully expect to have a comprehensive security plan in place by early next year,” he said.
While the games are a decades-long tradition, there are competitions to look forward to that we may not be used to watching, like fistball, finswimming, and tug-of-war.
“There are some weird ones! I’m learning about korfball. I’ve never heard about korfball until today,” Sellers said.
Hallman said we can expect to learn more about logistics, like parking and transportation in early 2020.
Over the weekend a lightning strike sent six people to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries after an lightning strike.
The dramatic video was a hot topic for event organizers on Monday. The Bruno Event Team believe their procedures should keep their spectators safe during any weather threat that may happen.
Play had been suspended during the PGA Tour Championship. Some spectators took refuge from the storm under a tree. A lightning strike sent six people to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Gene Hallman, with the Bruno Event Team, says their message to anyone is seek shelter. Don’t stay out on the course or under a tree.
Their weather alert system allows time for people to seek shelter before a weather suspension is issued. Hallman says they plan out the time so that people can seek shelter in buildings or their vehicles.
“The thing about being in this business for 28 years, the level of sophistication that is now on site at golf tournaments and outdoor sporting events is exponentially higher. You have on site meteorologists. You have very sophisticated weather systems with sophisticated lightning detection systems,” Hallman said.
Hallman also told WBRC Fox6 News they can text everyone in the immediate area to seek shelter. There are some homes nearby for the Bruno Event team which volunteer as safe havens.
Hallman said weather can be problems for stadiums, but they can send spectators inside to covered portions of the stadium for shelter.