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Birmingham set to approve Negro Southern League museum funding

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Birmingham Barons

Birmingham officials are expected to approve a museum honoring the Negro Southern League, to be built near Regions Field, home of the Birmingham Barons (Class AA; Southern League).

The museum, which has a price tag of $2.8 million, will be run by the Public Athletic, Cultural and Entertainment Facilities Board of the City of Birmingham, or PACE. It's set to honor the Negro Southern League, a circuit that included the Birmingham Black Barons. The new facility will also feature a rooftop restaurant with a view of Regions Field. The city has already held the groundbreaking; the vote (which is expected to approve the facility) is a followup to the earlier commitment. From AL.com:

The document also lists total costs at $5 million, double the previously quoted $2.3 to $2.5 million figure. The $5 million figure, according to the contract, includes the cost of exhibits.

The facility will include 15,750 square feet, including 8,700 square feet of exhibit space and 7,050 square feet for special events, a restaurant and a gift shop. The museum is scheduled to open April 9, 2015.

According to the proposed agreement, PACE will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the museum, but the city would supplement shortfalls not covered by rentals, the gift shop and vendors.

UPDATE: As it ends up, the City Council put off a decision on the museum, pending further discussions.

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