On April 29, 2008, the UAB's National Alumni Society unveiled a ‘smoke-breathing' Blaze statue that stands tall on the concourse outside Bartow Arena.
The 3-ton statue stands 10-foot tall by 12-foot long and sits on a pedestal that is 14 feet long, 7 feet wide and 18 inches off the ground. The NAS Board of Directors provided funding for the creation of the statue, which will become the center of new, symbolic traditions for UAB students.
The sculpture was created by T.J. Neil of Homosassa, Fla., to construct the 6,000-pound sculpture. The Blaze statue includes a fog machine inside the dragon's belly to produce the smoke-breathing effect.
Blaze will breathe smoke throughout the year for special occasions such as a big win, commencement, and homecoming, among many others. The Spring 2008 graduating class is the first to start the tradition of having their photograph made with Blaze at commencement.