Hoover residents can vote on name of new facility

Published 3:14 pm Wednesday, October 26, 2016

HOOVER – Voting is live for the name of an under-construction sports development in Hoover.

Residents were unhappy with the original name chosen for the center, so officials decided to make the public part of the naming process.

The name for the center was unveiled as Alabama Sports and Events Center, “the Bam” for short, at a meeting of the Hoover City Council on Oct. 3.

But public backlash caused leaders to form a Council committee to study the name, including accepting suggestions from residents.

The first meeting of the committee was Oct. 17 at Hoover City Hall, where it was announced that the committee would accept suggestions from residents and then select the top submissions to be included on a poll on the city’s website.

Committee Chairman and City Councilman Casey Middlebrooks said the top options were announced at the committee meeting Oct. 24, and the poll can be found here.

Possible names for the entire campus, which includes Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, include:

  • Robert O. Finley Complex
  • The Hoover Metropolitan Complex
  • The Hoover Sports and Events Complex
  • The Hoover MetPlex
  • Hoover Met Complex

Possible names for the under-construction indoor facility include:

  • Hoover Sports and Events Center
  • Hoover Sports and Convention Center
  • The Finley Sports and Events Center
  • The Finley Center

The survey also asks how residents envision the new logo and website (cute and kid friendly, sophisticated and expensive, traditional, dramatic and exciting, or sports-centered and simple) and for what primary customer is it most important the name appeals (local kids and families, sports tourists, non-athletes in Hoover, or national events).

The survey will be open until 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30.

Middlebrooks said the committee would choose the top vote-getters in the survey for the new names unless that would produce a duplicate name. For example, if “Robert O. Finley Complex” earned the most votes for the campus and “The Finley Center” earned the most votes for the facility, an alternate would be chosen instead for one of the names.

Middlebrooks said it was important for the city to be transparent with its decision about the naming of the facility and offer the public a chance to provide input.

Five hundred fifty submissions were received, some of which were duplicates.

“It was further confirmation that we’re doing the right thing by bringing this to the public for them to have ownership in,” Middlebrooks said. “We’ll see what the public decides.”

The committee includes: Middlebrooks and fellow City Councilman Gene Smith; Board of Education President Stephen Presley; Park Board member Bobby Humphrey; city employee Bill Wilder; residents Ruth Cole, Craig Roddam and Darius Foster; Spain Park High School student Rachel Miller and Hoover High School student Myracle Jarmon.