HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - In just a few weeks, the Hoover Met will welcome its first major sporting event to the area since COVID-19 put everything on pause.
Perfect Game’s National and Junior National Showcases, a baseball showcase featuring the top players in the upcoming MLB Draft, will be held at the Hoover Met June 17-25th.
The Hoover Met is confident in it’s plan to handle crowds for the national showcase. Met officials believe they got an early test run with Hoover City Schools graduation last week, getting large crowds in and out safely while social distancing.
“We monitored everything with that and it went extremely well so we’re going to apply a lot of the same aspects of that as we do baseball," said John Sparks, General Manger of the Hoover Met Complex.
The Hoover Met says it will follow the recommended guidelines from the CDC and state health officials. To help with the flow of crowds, game times will be spaced out. “Players that are not participating in the game for example, in the dugout or in between innings, will be in facial masks, coaches will also be in facials masks, games will be on time limits, and there will be no water jugs brought out with ice or water in them, everything will be self contained," Sparks said.
The National Showcase events are expected to have an economic impact of over $1 million.
“For our hotels and restaurants, this is much needed at this point," said Sparks.
While MLB scouts observe the best prospects in the nation, the Hoover Met believes they’re also in the national spotlight during that time.
“We are pulling out all the stops to make sure we do this right and we take all the precautionary measures we can because we’ll be looked at by all people across the United States," Sparks said.
The Hoover Met says they will also live stream the National and Junior National Showcases to help cut down on crowds.