Photo by Jon Anderson
Hoover sports complex construction 10-17-16
Workers are well into construction for the indoor event center that will be part of the $80 million Hoover sports complex being built next to Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
More than 30 people showed up this afternoon for the first meeting of the committee charged with finding a name for the new $80 million Hoover sports complex being built next to Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
Only a handful of names were suggested by those in attendance, but new Hoover Councilman Casey Middlebrooks, who is chairman of the committee, said about 20 name suggestions have been sent in via email so far.
Denise Johnson, a Ross Bridge resident who said she has been involved in youth sports for many years, suggested working the late Berry High School coach Bob Finley’s name into the facility since the Hoover school board sold the former Berry High School campus that included Finley Stadium to Vestavia Hills.
Picking a name like the Hoover Finley Sports and Meeting Center would be a way to carry on Finley’s name, Johnson said.
Melody Greene, the wife of Hoover Councilman John Greene and a retired assistant superintendent for Hoover City Schools, recommended keeping the name short and choosing something that will help identify its purpose. Her suggestion was The Hoover Hub.
Resident Stan Marks recommended Hoover Crossings as a name, noting that covers both the name of the city and the Trace Crossings community where the sports complex is.
Riverchase resident Arnold Singer suggested the Hoover Sports and Event District and recommended the city stick with the same logo the city of Hoover has been using for more than a decade. The logo already has been given national exposure through national broadcasting of the SEC Baseball Tournament, he said. They could use variations of the logo, which includes a large H with a squiggly line representing the Cahaba River as the crossbar on the H.
Bluff Park resident Robin Schultz said he would leave name suggestions to others but he would like the city to incorporate the colors from its two high schools — Hoover’s orange and Spain Park’s light blue — into whatever name and logo are chosen.
Steve Goris, a vice president with the Sports Facilities Management company hired to manage and market the sports complex, said there are several points to remember when choosing a name.
The name needs to be simple and memorable, needs to make sense and should help identify the facility’s purpose, Goris said. It also should avoid any unique spellings, leave room for flexibility and not conflict with other trademarks and domain names, he said.
Resident Andy Peters asked why they shouldn’t go ahead and seek a corporate sponsor for naming rights. Goris said they are already going after potential sponsors, but the city needs to get a name on the facility now so they can go ahead and start marketing the facility and signing contracts with a facility name. It would have been nice to have that accomplished three months ago, he said.
Ideally, a future corporate sponsor name could be tagged onto the beginning of whatever name is picked now, but those types of decisions are worked out in negotiations with sponsors, Goris said.
Sports Facilities Management initially recommended naming the entire complex, including Hoover Metropolitan Stadium and the Hoover RV Park, as the Hoover Met Sports District and calling the new indoor event center and new sports fields and tennis complex the Alabama Sports and Event Center. The recommended shorter nickname was The Bam.
But those names did not sit well with the public, so Council President Jack Wright established a committee to come up with a suitable name.
Alli Nations, Greene’s daughter, asked what other name options were considered by Sports Facilities Management. Goris said he’d rather not discuss those because he thinks it’s most important for them to listen to ideas from the community.
They will take whatever name the community chooses and seek to make it work successfully, he said.
The committee exploring potential names includes:
- Councilman Casey Middlebrooks
- Councilman Gene Smith
- Hoover Parks and Recreation Board member Bobby Humphrey
- Hoover Recreation Center Superintendent Bill Wilder
- Hoover Board of Education President Stephen Presley
- Spain Park High School student Rachel Miller
- Hoover High School student Myracle Jarmon
- Berry Middle School PTO President Ruth Cole
- Craig Roddam
- Darius Foster
Middlebrooks said the committee will continue to take name suggestions via email at firstname.lastname@example.org through noon this Thursday, Oct. 20. The committee will convene again at 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24, and choose five or six finalists to present to the public for an online vote on the city’s website, he said.