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Birmingham sports, entertainment office merges into Department of Innovation

It’s an effort to further enhance the city’s efforts to attract more world-class sports and entertainment events.

A view of downtown Birmingham. STOCK

The Birmingham Office of Sports and Entertainment has merged with the Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity, the principal economic development department for the city of Birmingham, in an effort to further enhance the city’s efforts to attract more world-class sports and entertainment events.

“The merger of IEO and OSE better positions the city and its residents in the mutual goal of creating vibrant entertainment options for an improved quality of life,” said Cornell Wesley, IEO director. “This alignment provides support to further document and demonstrate the economic impact of these events for the city and the region.”

OSE serves as the liaison between Birmingham and events like the Magic City Classic — the nation’s largest HBCU event — the annual Mercedes Marathon and the upcoming World Games in 2022.

The OSE was formed by Mayor Randall Woodfin in 2018. The OSE played an essential role in attracting the NCAA, allowing for the Division I men’s basketball, first and second round, and 2025 NCAA Tournament, Division I women’s basketball, southern regional, to be played in Birmingham.

OSE also attracted the Birmingham 2025 World Police and Fire Games, and worked with regional partners to secure the AHSAA Super 7 Football Championships’ return to Birmingham this December.

“The AHSAA State Basketball Finals taking place this weekend in the city are a great example of our work,” said Faye Oates, OSE commissioner. “We are focused on investing in events that are good for the people of our city and events that provide an economic return that benefits our residents and small businesses. It only makes sense to combine with IEO.”

John is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can contact him at [email protected] or via Twitter.

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