September 22, 2023 11:00am

The future of college football

How Birmingham leaders feel about the metro's most popular sport

Photo of Ty West
Birmingham, AL Correspondent

Influential Birmingham leaders believe the regulation of name, image and likeness deals is the biggest issue affecting the future of college football.

That’s the takeaway from the most recent Power Poll Birmingham, a monthly survey of local leaders.

The majority (56%) of respondents said regulation of NIL deals is the biggest issue affecting the metro’s most popular sport. NIL has been the subject of recent hearings in Congress and several bills aim to address it, but many questions remain.

Concerns over NIL don’t appear to be weighing down interest in the game. About 73% of respondents said they’ll attend the same number of in-person games this year as they normally do.

One factor that is limiting attendance is traffic and the time required to go to a game. More than one-third (34%) of respondents said that was the biggest factor that could limit their in-person attendance. Not far behind was the superior TV experience (23%).

Alabama may not be off to its traditional strong start in 2023, but it dominated the Power Poll when respondents were asked to identify their favorite team.

More than half of respondents (53%) chose the Crimson Tide, which easily outdistanced Auburn (20%) and UAB (9%).

Respondents were less bullish on Alabama’s chances to win the SEC title. Only 14% predicted Alabama to win the SEC this season.

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About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.

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