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Office of Sports and Entertainment to Merge with Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity

The Office of Sports and Entertainment has merged with the economic opportunity department to enhance the city’s efforts to attract world-class sporting and entertainment events, according to a statement from the mayoral office released on Friday.

“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, the director of the Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity.

The IEO is the city of Birmingham’s primary office for economic development through innovation and inclusive growth, according to the statement.

Wesley said the merger would allow the city to better track the economic impact of sporting and entertainment events in the area.

The OSE was created in 2018 by Mayor Randall L. Woodfin and was a key figure in bringing major sporting events to Birmingham.

“The AHSAA State Basketball Finals taking place this weekend in the city are a great example of our work,” OSE commissioner Faye Oates said.

Oates said the focus of the office is to provide events that they feel will benefit Birmingham residents and small businesses economically. 

“It only makes sense to combine with the IEO,” Oates said.

According to the statement, The OSE helps to coordinate the biggest sporting events in the city including the Magic City Classic, Mercedes Marathon, and set-up for The World Games 2022, an event that will attract a global audience to Birmingham.

 Additional events recruited by the Office of Sports and Development include:

  • 2023 NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament, first and second round
  • 2025 NCAA Division I women’s basketball tournament, southern regional
  • 2021 AHSAA Super 7 football championships
  • 2025 World Police and Fire Games

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Made By Students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham