AAMU Moves in New Direction for Magic City Classic

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Huntsville, AL – Fresh off signing the four-year Magic City Classic (MCC) contract
with the City of Birmingham, Alabama A&M University (AAMU) is now reimagining how game day operations can be even more impactful and advantageous.

Immediately after not coming to terms on a contract proposal for the management of
the MCC by Alabama Sports Council (ASC), AAMU went to work on how to address
game day operations each year, along with the disbursement of all assigned assets,
and a plan to secure regional and national sponsors and other promotional activities.

Chaired by Athletic Director Dr. Paul Bryant, an AAMU Task Force has been formed
for its major games, including the Louis Crews and Magic City Classics, and
Homecoming 2023 against Tuskegee University, which is expected to set a new
attendance record and solidify the economic impact of AAMU events for the city of
Huntsville.

The Task Force will consist of a representative from the Board of Trustees, senior
university staff, university advisory council members, and community stakeholders.
Additionally, a committee focused solely on the Louis Crews Classic will be chaired
by retired Judge M. Lynn Sherrod.

It is important that alumni, fans, corporate partners and sponsors understand why the
university is pivoting. AAMU was opposed to a four-year term of the management
agreement due to the lack of guaranteed funding for the entire term of the contract, as
the Jefferson County Commission only guaranteed funding for the 2023 MCC event.
ASC indicated that the funding was required for them to guarantee the university
fixed payment for the four years they required in their proposed contract.

Other major concerns included the lack of transparency of financial statements and
supporting documentation of previous MCC events. All funds raised during the MCC
weekend including sponsorships, scholarships, and additional municipal funding,
excluding those given by the City of Birmingham, go to the ASC. In addition, the
ASC receives all revenue from all MCC-branded merchandise, the Pep Rally and the
parade. Historically, the parade was the major fundraiser for the Magic City Metro
Alumni Chapter.

AAMU officials offered compromise proposals and attempted to meet and discuss
these concerns with the ASC officials to no avail. The university is very optimistic as
it reviews future options. “As a public institution, AAMU has an obligation to ensure
that every contractual agreement is fair and in the best interest of our university
stakeholders, most importantly our students. Our primary goal moving forward is to
ensure that our legal rights, as awarded through our partnership with the City of
Birmingham, are preserved and maintained,” said Rochelle A. Conley, university
general counsel.

Article submitted by Alabama A&M University.

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