Hoover Met improvements coming just in time for next year’s SEC Tournament

Published: May. 31, 2023 at 5:41 PM CDT
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HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - The City of Hoover saw record-setting numbers from the SEC Tournament, saying this was the best tournament yet.

Due to the success, city leaders are now working on ways to improve the fan experience at the Hoover Met Stadium for next year’s tournament.

City leaders say they set a new record with 8,600 attendees, far exceeding last year’s numbers.

City Administrator Allan Rice said they saw crowds of over 171,000 people during the six-day tournament.

“On an average year, the SEC Tournament has about a $15 million impact over six days in the city, so it’s a vital part of our local economy,” Rice said. “We know that in order to maintain that, we need to continue to maintain and expand our facilities.”

And that’s exactly what they are doing, starting with the parking lot.

“We will be reworking and redesigning our parking lot with new asphalt, new striping patterns, and things like that for traffic management,” Rice said.

With the stadium being 37 years old, they are also working to improve the fan experience inside, starting with the seating.

“We will be working on more premium seating options,” Rice said. “Trying to eliminate as many of the bleachers as possible and put everybody in a more comfortable and larger chair back seat, just things that people expect now when they go to a sports venue of this nature.”

Other improvements include the concession stands.

“We have an opportunity now to really organize how our concessions are positioned and how people can maybe access them without ever having to leave the seating bowl, so that you are never outside of the action,” Rice said.

The next step for the city is to finalize the design portion of the parking lot that will start in the next few months. Then they will work with their partners on the next phases of the improvement plan.

The city is working diligently to get this done before next year’s SEC Tournament. The city council already allocated $23 million for the improvements.

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