Hoover Metropolitan Stadium
Review by Gary
Hoover Metropolitan Stadium was home of the Birmingham Barons of the Southern League from 1988 to 2012 replacing historic Rickwood Field, with the exception of the annual Rickwood Classic. The stadium and team achieved fleeting notoriety in 1994 as the home of Michael Jordan’s brief foray into professional baseball when he grew bored of playing basketball.
The team is the longtime Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox and has played at Regions Field in downtown Birmingham since 2013. Today, the City of Hoover operates The Hoover Met as part of the revamped Hoover Met Complex. An event center, outdoor fields, tennis courts, and an RV Park now surround the old stadium.
With all this said, I only got to spend about 5 minutes at The Hoover Met on a rainy August Sunday in 2001 as the game had been postponed by the time I arrived and I was lucky to have been able to grab a quick peek inside the park. I returned to Birmingham three years later to attend the Rickwood Classic, but never did get to see a game here. I was glad to discover that the city continues to utilize the Hoover Met for baseball and sundry other events.
The Hoover Met Stadium is home of the SEC Baseball Tournament featuring the top 12 teams from the Southeastern conference, drawing more than 120,000 fans a year. The Met is also home to the Hoover High School Buccaneer football team.