The Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament returns for a 17th straight year to the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in the south-Birmingham city of Hoover, Ala., May 20-25.
The 2014 SEC Baseball Tournament will continue to feature 12 teams and will remain set to begin on Tuesday, May 20. Seeds 5-12 will meet in a single elimination format on the opening day of the tournament, followed by traditional double-elimination play Wednesday-Friday. The tournament will return to single elimination play on Saturday. A total of 17 games will be played throughout the tournament.
The 12 teams are seeded 1-12 with the two divisional champions and top four seeds guaranteed opening-round byes, with the possibility of earning another later in the bracket. The tournament field will include the top teams from the SEC’s Eastern and Western Divisions plus 10 at-large bids seeded 3-12 based on conference winning percentage.
Last season, an epic championship game featured LSU defeat Vanderbilt 5-4 in 11 innings in front of over 10,500 fans and a national television audience on ESPN2 in a battle between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the nation.
The Hoover Met formerly served as home of the Double-A Birmingham Barons (Chicago White Sox) of the Southern League. The stadium also has served as host of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Final Four, as well as home to the nationally renowned Hoover Buccaneer high school football program.
Located eight miles south of Birmingham, Regions Park seats 10,800 for baseball, but can accommodate over 16,000 when the patio, banquet and side grassy areas are used. The stadium also houses 12 suites and state-of-the-art dressing and training rooms. Wireless internet access was added in 2004, concourse and signage renovation was done in 2005 and a second-level pressbox expansion, new stadium seating and an exterior facelift in 2007 completed a $6 million renovation project. A new HD video scoreboard was added in 2008, while the SEC introduced the nation to a ‘pitch clock’ in 2010. A new sound systems and concourse amenities such as refurbished restrooms big screen HDTVs at concessions stands were added in 2012.
The 2013 SEC Baseball Tournament drew 134,396 fans to The Hoover Met, a new record-high for the event. Eight times in the last 11 years the tournament has surpassed the six-digit mark in total attendance. Last season’s tournament also saw the semifinals broadcast nationally for the first time, airing on ESPNEWS.
The SEC is currently scheduled to keep its baseball tournament in Hoover at The Hoover Met through 2016 under the current contract.
All games of the tournament have been televised in high definition since 2008, with ESPN set to broadcast the championship game nationally for the fifth straight year in 2014.