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Basketball Updated: 07 Nov 2018

One week away: A Q&A on the BBVA Compass Iron City Showdown

In one week, BBVA Compass will bring together Birmingham, Ala. for an exciting event that the city hasn’t experienced in over a decade.

The BBVA Compass Iron City Showdown will pit the Houston Rockets against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at Legacy Arena, the first professional basketball game to be played in Birmingham in 12 years. The game is an exhibition match brought to the Yellowhammer State by BBVA Compass as part of its commitment to create opportunities for the communities the bank calls home.

The game is also bringing a few community aspects in multiple forms.

With the game exactly a week away, BBVA Compass’s External Communications team sat down with the bank’s Birmingham CEO, Andrea Smith, to get her take on various topics surrounding the matchup.

1) How did an exhibition game end up coming to Birmingham?

The game was made possible by BBVA Compass’ relationship with the Houston Rockets, a team that we have teamed up with for multiple initiatives over the years. The bank is headquartered here in Birmingham, and they wanted to give back to the community and the people of Birmingham. We announced the game in August 2017 at Parker High School in front of 800 students. In May, we officially named it the BBVA Compass Iron City Showdown and announced the opponent and date at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

2) How are you involved in the game?

As the Birmingham CEO and leader of the market, I wanted to team up with my colleagues at the bank to give something special back to the city. We wanted to give back to Birmingham through the game, and through community work. As such, the bank is fully funding the refurbishment of two courts near Legion Field. We’re going to have a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 1 at 5 p.m. with a few Rockets players and city leaders. It’s part of the bank’s mission and brand promise to create opportunities for the places it calls home.

3) What can fans expect to see on the court when to come to the game?

Expect some star-studded rosters coming into town. It’s not every day that the NBA comes toBirmingham. There’s going to be a lot of electricity and excitement throughout the arena. BBVACompass and their partners have a lot of things planned on game day to enhance the fan andfamily experience. The NBA is in your backyard, so take advantage of it and go watch world-class talent in a live setting. The  Rockets almost went to the NBA Finals last year. You’re going to see a lot of good players coming to Alabama.

4) What should people know about leading up to the game?

People need to know that this just isn’t a game. It’s celebration that extends beyond a day.There are a lot of initiatives that are happening right now, including the Iron City Hoop-A-Palooza. It’s a three-on-three basketball tournament being held in celebration of the game. One of the division championships is going to be played at halftime of the game. There’s going to be a lot of family-filled activities the day of the game as well. It’s going to be one big celebration, and more importantly, a celebration of Birmingham and its rising star status.

5) Where can people go to buy tickets to the game?

Go to You can get tickets, which start at $15, and find out more general information about the game.