The City of Hoover debuted its new 155,000-square-foot indoor events center for the 2017 Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament on May 23-28. The tournament featured the first-ever SEC FanFest at the newly-constructed Finley Center adjacent to the Hoover Metropolitan Complex where the baseball games were played.
Avid fans of all ages filled the events center for FanFest where they could enjoy live entertainment, grab a drink or bite to eat at the sports bar or food court and participate in a multitude of games and activities, including billiard tables, virtual reality simulators, air hockey tables, skeeball, inflatables, nine-hole miniature golf, Lego construction zone, photo booths, table tennis, a zip line and more.
The indoor facility is the first phase of the $76 million Hoover Sports & Events Complex, designed by GMC, with Brasfield & Gorrie as the construction manager.
Finley Center features 11 regulation-size basketball courts, 16 regulation-size volleyball courts, a future climbing attraction, walking track, locker rooms, food court, convenience store, performance center and flexible meeting rooms. Designed to serve multiple uses, the event center can accommodate a variety of functions and sporting activities, including trade shows for 300 booths, banquet seating for 2,400 and theatre-style seating for 5,000. Drop-down netting also provides the option to divide the space within the center allowing multiple activities to take place simultaneously.
The new sports facility was recently cited by Youth1.com as the major reason for Hoover being ranked among “The 15 best travel destinations for youth sports.” Hoover was in good company, making the list alongside destinations such as Atlanta; Cocoa Beach, Florida; Orlando and Los Angeles.
“This project will be a major economic driver for the city and will provide new opportunities for the community for years to come,” Yann Cowart, GMC Sports Vice President, said. “GMC is proud to be a part of this momentous project, which highlights our firm’s growing emphasis and leadership in sports-related design.”
Construction is underway on the outdoor portion of the complex, which will feature five NCAA regulation-size soccer/football/lacrosse fields, five NCAA regulation-size baseball/softball fields, designed to accommodate up to 16 tennis courts with pro shop, two-mile walking track, playground, splash pad and a large event lawn. The existing RV park will be expanded from 149 to 172 spaces with full hook-ups, and additional parking will provide approximately 5,000 spaces on-site. This second phase of construction is slated for completion in early 2018.
GMC is providing architecture, interior design, civil engineering, construction materials testing and environmental engineering services for the project.