Despite the Baybears departure at the end of last season, Hank Aaron Stadium is hosting a number of events, including a college baseball tournament announced Wednesday morning.
Stadium manager Mobile Sports and Entertainment Group (MSEG), along with the Mobile Sports Authority (MSA) announced that Hank Aaron Stadium would become the host of the Southern States Athletic Conference championship baseball tournament, starting in May 2021, MSA Executive Director Danny Corte confirmed in a statement read to the press by MSEG President Ari Rosenbaum.
“We look forward to seeing you all here,” Corte, who is under self-quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19, wrote.
The tournament will have a local tie-in, as The University of Mobile is one of the Montgomery-based conference’s 10 member schools. William Carey University in Hattiesburg is also a member. The conference will play its championship at the stadium for the next four seasons.
Conference Commissioner Mike Hall said eight teams from the conference will play a double-elimination tournament at the city-owned facility and the USS Alabama will host an awards dinner.
“I think this Mobile area, Hank Aaron Stadium and the USS Alabama has a wow factor for our student athletes,” he said.
In addition to the conference tournament, Rosenbaum said the stadium has hosted successful events previously, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the recent run of drive-in movies was successful and after that the facility hosted a number of high school and college baseball showcases. The stadium is also set to host the Babe Ruth 16-18 World Series, but it has been pushed back to August 2021.
“We’re just trying to keep The Hank going,” Rosenbaum said. “It was going very good because we really got going in January after the light shows. We had both high school and college baseball scheduled every week before we had to shut down.”
Councilman John Williams said the announcement of the tournament means that MSEG kept its promise to play baseball at the stadium.
“We must play baseball in Mobile, Alabama and we must play baseball at Hank Aaron Stadium,” he said.
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