Coca-Cola . . . Exclusively Refreshing Hoover Met

March 20, 2013

By Jon Anderson | 
March 19, 2013 at 11:24 AM

00182XFHOOVER, Alabama – The Hoover Park and Recreation Board has selected Birmingham Coca-Cola Bottling Co. as the exclusive non-alcoholic beverage provider for Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

Birmingham Coca-Cola will pay the Hoover park board $30,000 a year for three years to obtain the exclusive rights to sell non-alcoholic beverages at the stadium, according to an agreement between the two parties that took effect Monday.

Coca-Cola has been the beverage provider at the Hoover Met through an agreement with the Birmingham Barons, but the Hoover park board needed to set up its own agreement with a beverage provider since the Barons gave up their lease of the stadium in October.

Erin Colbaugh, events coordinator for the city of Hoover, said the city has had a good relationship with Coca-Cola over the years and it’s convenient to keep the company as the beverage provider because the Coca-Cola name already is on the scoreboard.

No other beverage company can sell non-alcoholic drinks or advertise at the Hoover Met unless a national beverage company is a title sponsor of an event held there, according to the city’s agreement with Coca-Cola. In that case, the other beverage company can advertise its products at that event and serve its products in private hospitality areas, but Coca-Cola would still be the only beverage company allowed to sell its products to the general public.

Birmingham Coca-Cola also will get free use of a luxury suite at the Hoover Met and five VIP parking passes to any event held there.

The beverage sponsorship agreement is just one of several agreements for the Hoover Met now being put in place by the city of Hoover or its park board.

The Hoover City Council on Monday approved an agreement with the Pelham-based Event Operations Group for that company to provide temporary staffing and event management services at the Hoover Met.

Event Operations Group will take care of hiring workers to handle things such as parking, ushering, ticket taking and other event operations, Colbaugh said.

The company, which formed in 2007, now has about 15 offices across the Southeast and handles temporary staffing needs for concerts, festivals, collegiate and professional athletic events and other events at more than 500 venues, according to the company’s website.

Some of Event Operations Group’s clients include Warner Brothers Films, CBS Sports, HBO, NASCAR, ESPN, Fox Sports, SPEED Channel, Golf Channel, International Motorsport Hall of Fame, Bruno Event Team, INDY, AMA Superbike, ESPN Gameday Live, the Alabama High School Athletic Association, Regions Charity Classic, Conference USA, Southeastern Conference championship events, NCAA regional championship gymnastics, Southwestern Athletic Conference, TEAM USA Olympics, Capitol Entertainment Group, PGA, BBVA Compass, Regions, Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and Sports Illustrated, according to the website.

Having another company provide temporary staffing services is a plus for the city, said Tim Westhoven, the city’s assistant executive director. “It provides us with a great deal of flexibility – to be able to staff up or staff down as needed,” Westhoven said.

The Hoover park board also has chosen Five Star Concessions as the exclusive concessions and alcoholic beverage provider at the Hoover Met.

The company will pay the park board 30 percent of gross receipts from concession sales, except for during the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament, Hoover High football games and the Hoover Invitational Marching Festival. The park board will get 10 percent of gross concession receipts during the SEC Baseball Tournament and 15 percent of gross receipts during the Hoover High events. Hoover High boosters will get 30 percent of gross concession receipts during the high school events.

Five Star Concessions also must pay the park board 30 percent of gross receipts from sales by subcontractors, such as companies that operate frozen lemonade and ice cream stands.

The concession company also will pay the park board 30 percent of gross receipts for catering services when general concessions are being sold at the stadium and 15 percent of gross receipts for catering services for other private events.

The city of Hoover sought bids from nine companies for the concession rights and chose Five Star Concessions from among five responses, Westhoven said.

When the Birmingham Barons were managing the Hoover Met and Grand Slam Catering was handling concessions, no other caterers were allowed to operate there, Colbaugh said. Now, other caterers will be allowed to operate at the Hoover Met as long as they meet certain criteria established by the Hoover park board, such as having at least $2 million in general liability insurance.

Outside caterers must pay the city 15 percent of the total cost billed to clients, according to a standard catering agreement approved by the park board last week.

The city of Hoover is eager to recruit new events to come to the Hoover Met but needed to get these basic operational agreements in place first, Westhoven said.

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