Hoover Metropolitan Stadium may see a new tenant in 2015 as the University of Alabama is negotiating a temporary lease while Sewell Thomas Stadium is renovated.
The Sewell Thomas Stadium renovation is set to begin next week (barring the Crimson Tide hosting an NCAA Regional, of course), and it was originally thought that the Crimson Tide could play around the $35 million renovation, but after a construction schedule was formulated, that plan was tossed out the window. With the former home of the Birmingham Barons (Class AA; Southern League) still maintained and available (the SEC tourney is played there, as well as othe baseball and football games), it made sense for Alabama officials to look at playing in suburban Birmingham. From AL.com:
“The Hoover Met’s a great facility, the SEC tournament’s been there for years. We’ve got a lot of players from the Birmingham area and a lot of fans from the Birmingham area,” athletic director Bill Battle said. “Like anything, you play the hand you’re dealt and you turn what might not be what you prefer into a positive by making the best you can out of it.
“Hopefully we can build excitement in Birmingham, get more fans from a larger area than we can bring here and then hopefully when we return to Tuscaloosa in the following year many of those will continue to come.”
The biggest issue, according to Battle: transporting fans and students to and from Tuscaloosa for games.
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