Sketch by Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood
Hoover Event Center exterior 3
Here's an external sketch of the planned indoor event center being built next to Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
The Hoover City Council on Monday night voted unanimously to hire a Florida-based company to oversee development, marketing and management for the city’s new sports complex next to Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, as well as the stadium itself.
The city will pay Sports Facilities Management, based in Clearwater, Florida, $340,000 over the next nine months to develop an operating budget and financial forecast, coordinate with the design and construction team, hire its own management team and begin recruitment and organization of groups that will use the complex.
The complex includes Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, the 155,000-square-foot indoor event center under construction, and an outdoor complex that will have will have five NCAA regulation-size soccer/football/lacrosse fields, five NCAA regulation-size baseball (or softball) fields, 16 tennis courts with a pro shop, a 2-mile walking track, playground, splash pad and large event lawn.
Once the indoor event center opens, the city will pay Sports Facilities Management $28,000 per month, plus 1 percent of gross revenues once gross revenues reach $1 million, according to the contract approved Monday night.
Sports Facilities Management also will receive 20 percent of the gross revenues from sponsorships and advertising at the complex, including facility naming rights. The company also will be paid 20 percent of the total cost savings when it secures donations of equipment, scoreboards, fencing or other budgeted items.
The city will be responsible for paying operating expenses, including the salaries and benefits for on-site staff hired by Sports Facilities Management. The city maintains ownership of the complex and will have the opportunity to approve the budget for the facility each year and review financial records monthly.
The company must get the city’s approval for the hiring of the general manager, but other hiring decisions will be made by Sports Facilities Management. Employment levels will be seasonal, but Jason Clement, the company’s chief operating officer, said he expects the facility could employ 200 to 300 people, including part-time and seasonal workers. He’ll have a better handle on the number of full-time workers in three to four weeks once an organizational plan is developed, he said.
The contract approved Monday night is good through the fifth anniversary of the grand opening of the last outdoor event competition area. According to previous estimates by the mayor, the indoor event center should be completed in time for the 2017 SEC Baseball Tournament in May and the outdoor area should be completed by February 2018. So that should stretch the contract through roughly February 2023.
However, the agreement can be terminated at any time by the city without cause by providing the company with 120 days notice.
Sketch by Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood
Hoover Event Center Master Plan
This is the planned layout of the $76 million Hoover sports complex and indoor event center being built next to Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
The contract prevents Sports Facilities Management from managing any competing facility within 100 miles of the one in Hoover. The original proposal from the company had no such clause in it, but city officials said it was important to them because they don’t want Sports Facilities Management managing another complex in cities such as Montgomery or Huntsville.
Councilman Jack Natter expressed interest in extending the non-compete agreement to include cities such as Atlanta, Chattanooga or Jackson, Miss. Clement had agreed to a 25-mile non-compete clause in negotiations with city staff but on Monday night agreed to accept the 100-mile restriction as long as it covered only management services and not consulting services.
Clement said it’s in his company’s best interest to make sure that Hoover’s sports complex is successful.
After Monday night’s vote, Clement said Sports Facilities Management is thrilled to be partnering with the city of Hoover on this complex and is humbled and honored for the opportunity to manage it on behalf of the city.
“This is going to be a world-class destination,” Clement said. “I think it’s going to be among the best in the country.”
Councilman Joe Rives said hiring Sports Facilities Management was “absolutely necessary” for the complex to succeed.
“We do not have the expertise that these folks have, and we need this facility to be an absolute success,” Rives said. “We want it to be good for the city. We want it to pay its way. We want it to be good for the children and youth and all of the city of Hoover. This (hiring Sports Facilities Management), I think, will make that happen.”
Sports Facilities Management has worked with $6 billion worth of sports, recreation, fitness and entertainment venues over the past 13 years, Clement said. It has helped develop 1.5 million square feet of indoor event space and manages more than 800 acres of outdoor sports fields across the country, he said.
The company currently manages 14 venues and has six more under construction, he said. Last year, its facilities drew a combined 18 million visitors, and that number is expected to rise to 20 million this year, he said.
In other business Monday night, the City Council:
- Agreed to pay C.S. Beatty Construction $3.9 million for expansion of the Hoover RV Park. The city destroyed about 80 RV spaces to make way for the indoor event center, and C.S. Beatty will build new ones to replace those, plus another 20-30 spaces, Hoover Executive Director Allen Pate said.
- Postponed a contract award for a “general works” construction package for the new sports complex after the low bid came in at $22.1 million, which was $3.75 million over budget.
- Agreed to pay Tecta America Southeast $l,040,000 to put a new roof on the Hoover Public Safety Center.
- Rejected a $24,875 bid to repaint a 1985 aerial ladder fire truck and authorized the mayor to negotiate a lower price since Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus was the only bidder.
- Authorized the mayor to execute an agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation to update the city’s bicycle and pedestrian plan for $250,000. The federal government will pay $200,000, and the city will pay $50,000, Hoover Assistant Executive Director Tim Westhoven said.
- Approved an ordinance to allow and regulate mobile food trucks in Hoover.
- Approved a request to allow the sale of liquor at Bumpers Billiards at 2132 Lorna Ridge Lane and a new restaurant called Swamp Monster BBQ at 1843 Montgomery Highway.
- Authorized Rockwell Hoover LLC to operate an event center called Noah’s Event Venue at 2505 International Park Lane, with no amplified outdoor music and indoor music audible from outside the building restricted to 10 a.m.-midnight.