HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - Hundreds of thousands of people come through the Hoover Metropolitan Complex each year. It hosts SEC baseball, which drew a crowd of 160,000 in 2019, Soccer, tennis, football, you name it. It even has a playground and splash pad.
“A lot of different things for people to come to enjoy,” says Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato.
And it’s having a ripple effect on the community.
“Our businesses are seeing customers, our hotels are having people stay the night, our gas stations are selling gas,” says Brocato.
The Hoover Met is growing much faster than expected. Already it’s having between a $30-50 million impact on the local economy.
“Those are dollars that are spent throughout the entire metro area. Not just Hoover, but it’s impacting Birmingham, Vestavia, Mountain Brook, Irondale, Bessemer.”
But folks in Hoover are seeing a direct impact in the shape of two recent shopping districts: Stadium Trace Village which includes Aldi; Culver’s; Duluth Trading Company and several smaller shops. There’s also Village at Brock’s Gap.
“A little more intimate shopping center, you’re seeing a lot of locally-owned opened there, which that excites us a lot.”
And while the Hoover Met costs the city $6 million a year to run, Mayor Brocato says they’re definitely getting their money’s worth.
“It’s being used by locals, by our citizens, by our kids who are out there playing basketball and volleyball and baseball and lacrosse. You know, it’s an expensive proposition but it’s an investment that we’ve made to make sure that our citizens and citizens throughout the metro area have a really great quality of life.”