By: Heather Skaggs
The brand new Finley Center at The Hoover Metropolitan Complex, managed by Sports Facilities Management (SFM), celebrated its grand opening Friday, June 16, 2017.
The Finley Center completes Phase 1 of the Hoover Metropolitan Complex Project. Brasfield and Gorrie began construction in January 2016 and work was completed in May 2017. The project also includes an expansion of the recreational vehicle park (Hoover RV Park).
The celebration kicked off with Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato and Mrs. Diane Finley, wife of Coach Bob Finley, cutting the ribbon.
Hoover Belles greeted guests as they entered the new facility for the ceremony.
‘When I first walked in, I was overwhelmed,” Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato says. “To see everyone here and excited to support, I could not be more thrilled.”
Hoover’s mayor feels the facility will bring great service to the community and open opportunities for jobs, businesses, and entertainment in Hoover.
What’s in a name?
The name “The Finley Center” was the number one voter choice for the name of the facility after the failed name of the entire complex, Alabama Sports and Event Center, or The Bam as a nickname was rejected by the people.
Coach Bob Finley, a longtime head coach at Hoover’s W.A. Berry High School, taught his students as much about integrity as he did about football and basketball. The much loved coach died suddenly shortly before the opening of Hoover High School in 1994.
“My family and I are deeply honored that the center is named after Bob and that his life and legacy still impact Hoover today,” Diane Finley says.
The 155,000 square foot, indoor events center includes more than 83,000 square feet of uninterrupted multi-court space.
It fits as many as 11 basketball or 17 volleyball courts, ¼ mile-walking track, a climbing attraction called Clip N’ Climb, and a food court.
“The events center is multi-use and capable of hosting a variety of functions, and sporting activities,” says Monty Jones Jr., the Hoover Metropolitan Complex General Manager.
Finley Center Specs
- 89,000 square feet of continuous space
- Walking track
- Performance Center
- Three Meeting Rooms
- Clip N’ Climb Attraction
- 11 Basketball Courts
- 17 Volleyball Courts
- Trade Show Booth Space for 300+
- Banquet seating for 2,500
- Theatre seating for 5,000
- Event Lawn
The center is a prime location for rec league sports for the kids, but will also offer adult leagues. The soon to be installed Finley Center Clip N’ Climb walls will feature twelve climbing spaces.
But, there is much more to this state of the art facility than room for courts and tracks.
The Finley Center has space for 300+ trade show booths, and the uninterrupted floor space can transform into smaller gathering spaces and be decorated and customized for events, parties, gatherings or more. Finley also offers on-site catering. It is one-stop event shopping.
Speaking of shopping, one of the first events hosted at Finley was Made South on June 2-3. The event brought over 100 vendors to the Finley center showcasing artisan goods, food, drink, music, and art made in the South.
The Finley Center was also the site of the new SEC Baseball FanFest in May. FanFest included driving simulators, electronic darts, arcade games, golf simulators, inflatables and a zip line!
The Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates an economic impact for the city of Hoover to be between $27 million and $33 million. The facility is also slated to bring in around 125 new jobs to the region.
“As a leading builder of sports and entertainment projects across the Southeast, we are seeing a growing trend of multipurpose sports facilities.
This facility is on the leading edge of that trend and will have a significant economic impact for the city,” Stephen Franklin, Senior Project Manager Brasfield and Gorrie.
The Finley Center is optimum for up and coming businesses, entrepreneurs, and networking.
“We have what what they are looking for,” says Brocato. “This will bring competitive tournaments, great sporting tradition, non-profit fundraisers, business gathering, and more to Hoover.”
Coming up at Finley
Besides summer camps and 7 on 7 football, Hoover residents can look forward to celebrating July 4th and Freedom Fest at the new facility.