While the viability of UAB's football program has come under scrutiny, its soccer programs got a boost as BBVA Compass will provide a $1.5 million gift
for a new on-campus soccer facility that will seat 2,500 fans.
"UAB is vital to the economic and cultural future of our community, and an investment in its continued growth and prosperity
is one of the best ways to support Birmingham and Alabama," said BBVA Compass Birmingham City President Alan Register
in a statement.
commitment is in recognition of the strength of the men's and women's programs but also the importance of soccer in the community. While Alabama is known as football country, Birmingham ranked among
the top 18 cities in terms of ratings during the 2014 World Cup.
“This is great for Birmingham and UAB,” added BBVA Compass Chairman and CEO Manolo Sanchez
. “BBVA Compass Field will showcase one of the most popular sports in the world and allow us to support UAB’s diverse campus and international community.
It’ll also contribute in a meaningful way to the revitalization of the urban core of this historic and important American city.”
The new stadium, BBVA Compass Field, will be
the first impression visitors encounter as they enter the UAB campus from I-65.
“The new facility will help make UAB a top contender when putting in bids to host Conference USA and
the first round of the NCAA tournament,” women's coach Harold Warren
said. “The ability to attract ACC, Big 12 and Big 10 schools for play helps the
program’s competitive growth, and fans love watching UAB compete against the best. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
UAB men’s team has won six Conference USA titles
and made seven NCAA appearances.
“Recruits will know they are joining a program that is first class, and that the university and our community support the team,” men's coach
BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates 673 branches. It is the second largest bank in Alabama and
fourth largest bank in Texas, where it is title sponsor of the Houston Dynamo's stadium.