Ahead of next month’s SEC Baseball Tournament, Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in suburban Birmingham is receiving a variety of upgrades.
The 2018 SEC Baseball Tournament is scheduled for May 22-27. By then, Hoover Met should have a variety of improvements in place, with some of the most notable changes affecting team amenities.
Renovations have been done to the ballpark’s dugouts, while work has also been taking place on a new five-field baseball/softball complex adjacent to Hoover Met. One part of that complex, a natural turf field, is slated to be completed by the upcoming tournament so that it can be used for batting practice.
Inside the ballpark, one of the most significant changes is to the playing surface. Hoover Met’s playing surface is being replaced, with workers also completing upgrades to the ballpark’s drainage system. More from Hoover Sun:
The Hoover Parks and Recreation Department and Brasfield & Gorrie construction and engineering company are coming close to finishing $885,000 worth of renovations at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
Since December, workers have been busy replacing the playing surface, repairing and upgrading the drainage system, expanding the dugouts and upgrading the stadium’s information technology capabilities.
Hoover Parks and Recreation Director Craig Moss said a lot of sports stadiums redo their playing surface every year, but he thinks it has been about 18 years since the field at the Hoover Met has been fully replaced.
The Southeastern Conference wanted the turf replacement for the SEC Baseball Tournament, but it was past time to do it anyway, Moss said. The Hoover Parks and Recreation Board has requested money for the work in its budget for several years and finally got it approved in the 2018 budget, he said.
Hoover Met originally opened for Minor League Baseball, and was home to the Birmingham Barons (Class AA; Southern League) from 1988-2012. The Barons have played in downtown Birmingham’s Regions Field since 2013, but Hoover Met has remained active in recent years by hosting the SEC Tournament and a variety of other events.