BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - SEC media days are underway in Hoover. Almost 1,000 media members are in town for the 3-day football fest.
Hoover's mayor says this kind of event couldn't come at a better time for the city's economy.Whether it's fans hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite coach, or sports talk radio hosts lining up on radio row, SEC media days is a madhouse with a record turnout this year of almost 1000 credentialed media members, up from around 800 last year.
"It's great because we're part of Birmingham," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. The SEC, our headquarters are here, the staff is here, our building is here and we live here. So for us to bring media day here and have nearly a thousand here is something we really enjoy."
It's not just talk here, but action. As in the action of paying for hotel rooms and eating at restaurants near the Wynfrey hotel that has Hoover's mayor excited and relieved.
"It's a huge deal, because now that ESPN is involved, today it was being broadcast live on ESPN and so now it's not just a big deal for the city of Hoover, but for metro Birmingham and the state of Alabama," Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos said.
Hoover's sales tax revenues are down about 8% this year which has threatened the city's ability to help fund the school system. But media days is an annual stimulus package that the city needs more than ever this year.
"It's not just the dollars and sense, though," Slive said. "It's the psychic energy and the enthusiasm and the vibrancy it brings to the community. It adds to the quality of life at the same time has an economic impact."