LF: 340' CF: 405' RF: 340'
|2013 SEC Tournament
Dates: May 21-26
Parking cost: Free
Nearest Major Airport:
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International (22.8 miles)
Nearest Pro Ballparks:
Regions Field in Birmingham (16.6 miles)
Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery (85 miles)
The Baseball Travel Map is one of many great items in our Baseball & Ballpark Store.
|Year ||Total ||Rank *
|* The Barons' total home attendance ranking in the 10-team Southern League
Where the pursuit of baseball never ends.
| Former home of the Birmingham Barons
Note: The Barons moved into a new ballpark in downtown Birmingham for the 2013 season, and as of January 1, 2013, the name of Hoover's ballpark has reverted back to its original name: Hoover Metropolitan Stadium
Except for one game a year, the Birmingham Barons don't actually play in Birmingham. The team bolted the big city for the 'burbs in '88, when they relocated to Hoover, which is where they remain to this day.
Built near the very end of the bigger is better era that defined stadium construction for a prolonged period of time, Hoover's Regions Park is the second biggest venue to host Double-A baseball, bested officially by only 200 seats and the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. But the Barons' 10,800-seat stadium can actually hold more fans, as large grass hillsides begin where the symmetrical grandstand ends and the team's single game attendance record is 16,247.
Chief among the things that stand out about the stadium is its location, as the road that leads to Regions Park services an industrial park that is part of the Trace Crossings development within which the Barons' home also resides.
Plenty of paid and all paved parking fronts the stadium, which has a can't-miss sloping red clay colored roof that reminds me of Dumb Donald from the Fat Albert cartoon. Since most of the stadium sits in a valley below the parking lot, the roof covers up most of the facade in the same manner that Dumb Donald's stocking cap covered most of his face.
The grandstand is more deep than wide, with a cross aisle splitting the seating sections into two levels. Prior to 2007, the stadium's box seats were red and the bleachers blue, but a major renovation finished that year gave all seats a uniform light blue color.
There are no shortage of party areas. A large banquet hall hovers on the underside of the roof behind the third base dugout while picnic areas can be found down each outfield line. Additionally, a dozen suites flank the two-story press box and beyond the suites each side of the stadium sports an open-air patio.
The concourse is behind the grandstand, and thus walled off from the playing field. But upon its walls is a reminder that Michael Jordan called Hoover home for the summer of 1994, as an oversized poster shows His Airness in his Barons uniform and reminds fans that all three of Jordan's home runs were hit at the Hoover Met, as the stadium was generally referred to before Regions Bank bought naming rights in 2007.
Hoover Met was short for Hoover Metropolitan Stadium and when it opened the Barons' long tenure at Rickwood Field ended. At the time the Barons' moved 20 miles south, Rickwood was the nation's second oldest actively used pro ballpark, younger than only Chicago's Comiskey Park. Each opened in 1910, but seven weeks apart. While Comiskey was wrecked by a metal ball to make way for its replacement, Rickwood still stands and once a year (since 1996) the Barons have returned there to play a regular season game called the Rickwood Classic.
While there were some bad stadiums built in the 1980s, Rickwood's replacement was not one of them. You need only drive 117 miles to the north and visit Huntsville's Joe Davis Stadium to gain an appreciation of what Regions Park's designers were able to accomplish in an era largely devoid of charm and devoted to function, often in a multi-purpose manner.
Yes, the playing field in Hoover is converted into a football field in the fall for high schools to use, but Regions Park looks and feels like a baseball stadium. A big one, no doubt, but one that's not a blight and is, in fact, quite all right.
Regions Park Facts, Figures & Footnotes
Construction cost: $14.5 million
Architects: Gershman, Smith & Partners and HOK Sport
Construction manager: Harbert International, Inc.
Built on 70 acres of land about three miles from downtown Hoover.
First game: The Birmingham Barons beat the Greenville Braves 8-2 on April 16, 1988 in front of 13,279 fans
Owned by the City of Hoover.
Was known as Hoover Metropolitan Stadium from its opening in 1988 until March 15, 2007, when it was renamed Regions Park.
Naming rights: Birmingham-based Regions Financial Corporation pays an undisclosed sum in a 9-season deal that ends on December 31, 2015
The City of Hoover is paid $110,000 annually by the Barons as part of the deal that allowed the team to sell the stadium's name to Regions.
Underwent a three-phase, $4.5 million renovation that began in the fall of 2005 and was completed prior to the 2008 season.
Has 12 suites, 3,202 box seats and 7,598 general admission (bleacher) seats.
Michael Jordan played his first official pro baseball game here on April 8, 1994, when he started in right field and 10,359 fans watched him go 0-for-3 against Chattanooga. Jordan's next-to-last ever home game as a Baron on August 27, 1994 drew the stadium's single game record crowd of 16,247. In his honor, the stadium's third base side meeting/banquet room is named the Michael Jordan Banquet Hall.
Hosted the SEC Baseball Tournament in 1990, 1996 and continuously since 1998.
Nearby Hoover High School plays their football and baseball games at the stadium, which has separate level press boxes for each sport.
Regions Park Photo Gallery