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PATRON – The Iron Bowl – Did you know that the Alabama & Auburn game was suspended for 41 years?

[Here’s an interesting news article from 1910 pleading for the football rivalry between Alabama and Auburn to continue in Birmingham after being suspended.]

Alabama and Auburn have met in the Iron Bowl for so many years that we may not realize that the two colleges refused to meet on the gridiron for a number of years. Alabama and Auburn (Auburn was then the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama) played their first football game in Lakeview Park in Birmingham, on February 22, 1893.

Lakview Park


The series continued through 1907 and was suspended for several reasons, some of which are related in the news article from 1910 below. The series was not renewed again until 1948. Today the series is considered one of the best and most hard-fought rivalries in all of sports.

Howard College mentioned in the article below is now Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.

Football Comment

The Tuscaloosa News September 22, 1910

(By Atticus Mullin in the Birmingham Ledger)

The three Alabama colleges are certainly unfortunate in their relations to each other. This season there is but one struggle between Alabama colleges. Howard plays Auburn. Alabama refuses to meet Howard and of course all know of the long-standing troubles between Auburn and Alabama.

Right now is the time for all of these troubles to be patched up. Auburn should meet Alabama every year in Birmingham. Alabama should meet Howard every year in Birmingham. Howard should meet Auburn every year in Birmingham.

Every game between the Alabama colleges would be a paying one. The expense of Auburn to Birmingham is but little. Alabama’s expenses to Birmingham is very slight. It costs Howard nothing to play here. Then why in the name of common sense should the Alabama schools be running all over the south and as far north as Virginia to play schools when they could make money right here in Birmingham and give the local people a run for their money.

In spite of everything stated publicly to the contrary, Auburn’s reasons for not wanting to play Alabama have been because Dr. J. W. H. Pollard was the Alabama coach and Auburn men had formed a deep-seated opposition to him. This is the milk in the cocoanut (sic) as far as Auburn is concerned.

The reason why Alabama would not play Auburn, in the opinion of the writer , when sifted down, came to this very Coach Pollard. All known that Pollard has a strong inclination to have things his own way. Now that he is not with Alabama any longer, the writer sincerely hopes that the silly differences between Auburn and Alabama will be settled and that next year we can see these two colleges meet on the gridiron.

Let the Auburn and Alabama alumni in Birmingham come out publicly and say what they think about the plan of getting together.

See all books by Donna R Causey

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Exploration: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 1) is a collection of lost and forgotten stories about the people who discovered and initially settled in Alabama.



  1. Wish they still didn’t play.

  2. It was the Iron Bowl when it was played in Birmingham with the 50/50 ticket split. Now it is just like any other game.

    1. That game will NEVER be like any other game. And it will always be the Iron Bowl wherever it is played. Do you watch the Iron Bowl Ms Turner?

    2. I attend the game and have for approximately 35 years. The atmosphere is just not the same. It is okay that you don’t agree. Just my opinion. Have a blessed day

  3. I have this no my wall.

  4. It is better on the campuses. Birmingham was always a terrible venue for the game. The only people who wanted that were the people in B’ham.

  5. Best thing that ever happened was moving the game to Tuscaloosa and Auburn that is where the schools are let the locals of both cities reap the rewards of money spent on the local economy not just Birmingham

  6. I like reading about Alabama’s history. Lots of things i never knew

  7. Should’ve ended playing each other after 2010.

  8. We have one of the prints of this game.

  9. There was never a 50-50 split in stadium tickets. Only the school tickets (mostly students) were split like that and that changed to alternating years with the schools getting the majority alternating before the move. A majority of tickets at Legion Field were sold to statium certificate holders that were purchased in order to finance the building of and additions to the stadium. Those were mostly owned by Alabama fans. I’m glad that it moved

  10. i heard a story about that on the radio a while back

  11. It’s interesting to note that the author stated that the games were played “all over the
    south” and “as far north as Virginia”. Real Virginians consider Virginia part of
    the south.

  12. Sorry – left out part of my E-mail address in previous message


  14. Gwendolyn Tucker Lindsey, Amanda Leigh, Brad McDonald, David Lindsey

  15. Hope Atchison Here’s the answer to the question you asked me earlier this week 🙂

  16. I lived near the spot of the first game in Forest Park. There’s an historical marker there:-)

    1. Was that the old Avondale Park?

  17. The rest of the story: Senator Ben Glover from Leroy introduced a Bill that required the teams to play or lose their aid from the State.

  18. Having attended Lakeview Elementary and playing YMCA football during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, at the time I thought the first Alabama – Auburn game was was played in the park adjacent to Lakeview school (currently behind McDonald’s on University). However, I have since learned that another Lakeview Park existed in Birmingham at the time – Does anyone know the location of the original Lakeview Park?.

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