Hoover bidding to keep SEC baseball

HOOVER, AL (WBRC) - By Emily Luxen

HOOVER, AL (WBRC) - Hoover is in danger of losing an event the city has hosted for 14 years, the SEC Baseball Tournament. The event  brings more than $10 million to the local economy.

Mayor Tony Petelos says, "The City of Hoover submitted a bid for another five years for SEC baseball, and I feel good about our chances. It is still pending."

Hoover's contract with the SEC expires after next season. President of the Alabama Sports Foundation, Gene Hallman, said with new competition from other cities, it is important for Hoover to make the best bid possible.

"I believe we have a lot going for us," said Hallman, "We've got 14 years of a track record that speaks for itself, attendance records, large crowds, and we've made this the most successful conference college baseball tournament."

Business and hotel owners hope the tournament stays. They say the tournament brings hungry fans into restaurants and fills hotels.

"We depend upon that tournament every year," said Hyatt Place's Kathleen Spencer, "It is a huge week for us, and we depend on that income."

Hoover officials are expecting to hear a final decision from the SEC by the end of the year. Memphis, New Orleans, Jacksonville, Montgomery, and Duluth, GA have also submitted bids for the tournament.

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