The term, ‘sales pitch,’ has never been so appropriate. Birmingham, long the host of the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament, is facing competition from other cities after the 2016 event.
Five cities are in the running and Birmingham remains one of them, according to an article in the Birmingham Business Journal.
For the past 18 years, the tournament has called the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium home. Now, Hoover will compete against four other potential host cities, as Minor League Baseball stadiums across the southeast jockey for position.
New Orleans; Memphis, Tennessee; Jacksonville, Florida and Nashville, Tennessee submitted bids for the tournament. Each of the four competing markets has a minor league franchise to its name.
The most significant threat to Hoover's chances of continued hosting is likely New Orleans, where lawmakers approved a bill that would renovate Zephyr Field to SEC specifications should the city land the tournament. The bill will not renovate the stadium if the bid is not won; therefore, count on New Orleans to lobby hard and throw in plenty of incentives.
Conference officials will likely tour each city within the coming months and poll coaches on their preference.