Although it is in need of repairs and upgrades, the 4,800-capacity venue fills a mid-size niche in the market and, for Mayor William Bell, the idea of simply shutting the doors seems hasty.

“We have a number of events that are planned that are essential so we’ve got to repair the facility,” he told the Birmingham News.

However, a 2008 city council report on the state of the venue reportedly noted about $4 million worth of structural problems at the auditorium. Since then, ideas have been floated that include razing the structure and giving the property to the neighboring Birmingham Museum of Art.

“The real issue is it has been in some sense of disrepair for many years,” Councilman Steven Hoyt told the News. “The citizens deserve something new. It’s time to tear it down and build a new auditorium, if not combined with an expansion of the museum.”

Artists that have graced the stage at the historic venue include Bruce Springsteen, James Brown, Bob Dylan and Prince.