Birmingham Sports and RecreationAlabama's unofficial status as “Football Capital of the South” is largely the legacy of University of Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, who led his Crimson Tide football team to more than 300 victories. For Crimson Tide sports tickets phone (205) 348-2262.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham, (205) 975-8221; Samford University, (205) 726-2966; Miles College, (205) 929-1615; and Birmingham-Southern College, (205) 226-4935, also have competitive sports teams. The Birmingham Barons, AA baseball affiliates of the Chicago White Sox, play their home games at Regions Field; phone (205) 988-3200.
Free self-guiding tours of the restored 1910 Rickwood Field , 1137 2nd Ave. W., are offered when the park is open (typically Mon.-Fri. 8-4:30 and some weekends). Baseball greats Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Satchel Paige and Willie Mays played here. Visitors can pick up a brochure leading them on a route to see the highlights; a walk on the field is sure to be a thrill for dedicated baseball fans. Guided tours with additional access to the locker room and press box are available by appointment; phone (205) 458-8161.
Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel/Kevin Glackmeyer
Auto racing attracts legions of fans to the Talladega Superspeedway. The raceway holds two NASCAR Sprint Cup events as well as the NASCAR XFINITY Series and ARCA events. The Birmingham Race Course, 1000 John Rogers Dr., offers on-site greyhound dog racing; phone (205) 838-7500.
Note: Policies concerning admittance of children to pari-mutuel betting facilities vary. Phone for information.
Tennis courts can be found at most city parks, along with facilities for hiking and bicycling. City golf courses include Highland Park, 3300 Highland Ave. S., and Roebuck, 8920 Roebuck Blvd. For information about other public golf courses and tennis courts, phone the convention and visitors bureau, (205) 458-8000 or (800) 458-8085.
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.
State, county and city sales taxes total 10 percent in Birmingham. A lodging tax of 16.5 percent also is levied.
Princeton Baptist Medical Center, (205) 783-3000; St. Vincent's Birmingham, (205) 939-7000; St. Vincent's East, (205) 838-3000; Trinity Medical Center, (205) 592-1000; UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham) Hospital, (205) 934-4011; UAB Hospital-Highlands, (205) 934-3411.
2200 Ninth Ave. N. Birmingham, AL 35203. Phone:(205)458-8000 or (800)458-8085
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport
One of the largest car rental agencies in the city, Hertz, (205) 591-6090 or (800) 654-3080, offers discounts to AAA members.
Amtrak trains destined for New York and New Orleans depart from the station at 1819 Morris Ave.; phone (205) 324-3033.
Greyhound Lines Inc., at 618 19th St. N., provides commercial bus service to and from the city; phone (205) 252-7190 or (800) 231-2222.
Taxis are on the meter system. The typical charge is $4.50 initially and $2 for each additional mile. The two largest companies are American Cab Co., (205) 322-2222; and Yellow, (205) 252-1131.
Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority provides bus service around town and into the outlying suburbs. Basic bus fare is $1.25. The authority also manages DART, a system of vintage trolleys serving the downtown area; the fare is 25c. Exact change is required for both buses and DART. Phone (205) 521-0101 for schedule and route information.