Bill Harris Arena
|Fair Park Arena|
|Location||2331 Bessemer Road,
Birmingham, Alabama 35208
|Owner||City of Birmingham|
|Birmingham Blitz (American Basketball Association) (2012-present)|
The W. F. "Bill" Harris State Fair Arena (called Bill Harris Arena or Fair Park Arena) is a 6,000-seat multipurpose indoor arena located at the Alabama State Fairgrounds. The arena is used primarily for basketball, but also hosts concerts and other events. The arena is currently home to the Birmingham Blitz of the American Basketball Association. It has previously served as the home court for the Birmingham Magicians of the American Basketball Association. It is named in honor of Bill Harris, longtime athletics director for Birmingham City Schools.
In 1985, the Puerto Rico Coquis of the Continental Basketball Association considered moving to Birmingham, but discussions with the Alabama State Fair Authority did not progress quickly enough to secure a commitment. The CBA did come to the Bill Harris Arena in 1991 when the Pensacola Tornados relocated to Birmingham as the Birmingham Bandits. The Bandits played for a year before moving again to Rochester, Minnesota.
A February 2001 basketball game between Stillman College and Miles College was interrupted by repeated brawls between fans of the opposing teams. The game was ended by order of the Birmingham Police Department and the 2,000 fans sent away.
The arena currently hosts the monthly flea market at the fairgrounds, held on the first full weekend of each month.
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