The city of Hoover and The University of Alabama are in negotiations to bring Crimson Tide baseball games to the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium for the 2015 college baseball season.
Hoover Mayor Gary Ivey said nothing has been finalized and negotiations are ongoing. Officials at Alabama did not return calls seeking comment on the progress of discussions, but Alabama Athletic Director Bill Battle confirmed in May that games at the Met were a possibility.
Alabama’s baseball stadium, Sewell-Thomas Stadium, is undergoing a $35 million renovation that is expected to be completed in 2016. The construction work means the Crimson Tide needs a place to play its home games for the 2015 season.
Although the Hoover Met has hosted the SEC Baseball Tournament for 17 consecutive years, the stadium has not had a permanent tenant since the Birmingham Barons moved to Regions Field downtown in 2013.
Originally, Alabama had hoped to simply play around the construction, scheduling long stretches of home and away games. That plan ultimately was deemed unfeasible.
Alabama posted a 37-24 record in 2014 and made the NCAA regionals. The Tide played 32 home games last season. Alabama ranked 14th in NCAA Division I attendance, drawing an average of 3,370 fans per game. One of the biggest concerns will be finding a way to get students from Tuscaloosa and continuing to draw the loyal Tuscaloosa-based fans to Hoover on a regular basis. Hopes are that more Birmingham-area Bama fans who don’t often make the trek to Tuscaloosa will help bolster attendance.