Birmingham is the gathering spot for more than 1,100 collegiate athletes competing in a nationwide winter sports event.
The NCAA Division II Festival is being held through Saturday at Birmingham's Crossplex.
The 750,000-square-foot indoor venue includes facilities for swimming, diving, track and other sports.
The festival will decide national titles in men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's indoor track and wrestling.
The NCAA says the festival is the only place where collegiate champions will crowned in five different sports in a single event.
The Winter Festival was moved to Alabama last summer because of problems with hotel availability at the planned site in Cleveland. It's being hosted by the city and the Gulf South Conference.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.