Is Academy Sports + Outdoors coming to the south shopping center?

CULLMAN, Alabama. – Cullman continues to grow – with new residential developments, retail expansions, and in this case, a new retail development in the form of Academy Sports + Outdoors.

In a press release dated March 26, 2024, Academy Sports + Outdoors outlined and revealed some of the strategies behind the scenes.

The press release began with the following statement:

“Academy Sports + Outdoors (“Academy”) (Nasdaq: ASO), a leading full-line sporting goods and outdoor recreation retailer, is pleased to announce the opening of 15 to 17 new stores in fiscal 2024, beginning with two new stores in the first quarter in Knightdale, North Carolina and Greenwood, Indiana.”

It continues: “Academy Sports + Outdoors is excited to offer our customers new convenience stores that offer a localized assortment that meets the needs of active families in these communities,” said Eric Friederich, Senior Vice President of Retail Operations at Academy Sports + Outdoors.

The Tribune contacted Friederich, but no response was available at the time of publication.

Academy also offers complimentary services such as grill and bike mounting, scope mounting, barrel sighting, line winding/spooling, and propane replacement. Hunting and fishing licenses can also be purchased at stores.

Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs said Friday afternoon, “The city would be happy to share information at this time, but we are obligated not to release any information about a retail project that we are currently negotiating. Hopefully we can answer questions in the near future.”

An official notice, due one week before the Cullman City Council meeting, lays out most of the plans, except for the name “Academy.”

Dale Greer, director of the Cullman Economic Development Agency, said, “I will not go into detail about this specific project, but will just say that the request is for a refund of a portion of the sales tax generated by this project.”

The legal filing states that the Council “shall meet in public session on June 24, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. at the City Hall Auditorium located at 204 2nd Avenue NE, Cullman, Alabama 35055 to consider the transacting of any business that may properly be presented to the Council. Such business shall include, but is not limited to, consideration of a resolution (the “Authorization Resolution”) authorizing the execution and delivery of this certain development agreement for a sporting goods store project (the “Agreement”), which shall be dated as of the date of its execution, between the City, Cullman County (the “County”), and MTN, LTD, an Alabama limited partnership (“Developer”).

The listed entities and individuals involved in the project to whom or for whose benefit the City intends to make loans or disburse public funds or items of value are the developer, whose owners include Judy K White Trust, Karen L. Drinkard Trust, Natalie Smith-GR Trust, Tracy Smith Trust, Juliet Swann Trust, S. Michele Drinkard Trust, Drinkard Development LLC (RHD), Roy H. Drinkard and Jason Grimmett Trust.

According to the legal report, which must be published one week before the meeting, it is published by the city in conjunction with the Cullman Tribune and by the county in conjunction with the Cullman Times.

It states that the terms of the agreement address certain obligations of the “City, County and Developer with respect to the construction, development and operation of a large sporting goods retail store (the “Project”) on an approximately seven (7) acre site located at the corner of King Edwards Street SW and the CSX railroad tracks within the City (the “Site”).

It goes on to say: “Under the agreement, the City would be obligated to remit and pay to the developer 50% of the City sales and use tax revenues (currently the rate levied by the City is 1.75%) from retail sales made under the project up to a maximum of $1,167,000 for a period of up to ten (10) years from the opening of the project.”

However, this will only occur if it is approved; then the agreement will be executed and delivered pursuant to the Constitution and laws of the State of Alabama, including but not limited to Section 94.01 of the Alabama Constitution of 2022 (previously codified as Amendment No. 772 to the Alabama Constitution of 1901, as amended).

The legal clause states: “The City has determined that the development of the Project will significantly increase and enhance the prosperity, satisfaction and general welfare of the City and its residents by, among other things, (i) helping to eliminate and eliminate dilapidation and similar impacts resulting from the underuse of the Site; (ii) promoting the upgrading and repurposing of a highly visible area of ​​the City; (iii) bringing significant commercial activity to an underdeveloped area and supporting the use and development of underused commercial properties surrounding the Site; (iv) helping to improve the appearance and vibrancy of undeveloped areas of the City; (v) expanding commercial activity within the City; (vi) facilitating the growth and development of commercial sites and developments surrounding the Site; (vii) supporting and expanding industrial and economic development within the City; and (viii) expanding jobs and employment opportunities within the City.”

About Academy Sports + Outdoors

Academy is a leading full-line sporting goods and outdoor recreation retailer in the United States. Originally founded as a family-owned business in Texas in 1938, Academy has grown to 283 stores in 18 states. Academy's mission is to provide “fun for everyone,” and Academy delivers on that mission with a localized merchandising strategy and value proposition that creates a strong connection with a broad range of consumers. Academy's product assortment focuses on the key categories of outdoor, apparel, sports & leisure, and footwear, and includes both leading national brands and a portfolio of private labels. For more information, visit