HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) – The city is about to host its largest event in conjunction with the Hyatt Regency Wynfrey Hotel as the 2021 SEC Media Days kicks off on Monday.
Coaches, players and fans from across the southeast started making their way to the City of Hoover this weekend. Businesses are excited for the long-awaited economic boost they’re about to get.
“Our biggest thing is staying as widely staffed as possible so that everything can run smoothly,” On Tap Bar Manager Maegan Eason said.
Eason said the restaurant had to double their staff and food to handle the crowd making its way to the city.
“It was very hard for us to staff back up,” Eason said. “I think it’s been hard for everyone to get a good staff that’s really committed to doing what we do.”
The pandemic set On Tap back like so many other businesses, waiting for a big chance to comeback.
“Having gone through what we have gone through over the last year, we cannot be more excited to welcome the SEC and media outlets from all over the country to Hoover tomorrow,” Hoover City Council President John Lyda said. “The more events people see coming back to the city the more comfortable they are and confidence in our future. It means that to us at city hall and we hope that resonates with visitors and businesses alike.”
Lyda said you’ll notice an increase in traffic around the hotel as the conference comes to town for its 22nd year – a sign of more normalcy once again.
“When you see the SEC logo on the side of the Wynfrey and the slogan, ‘It just means more,’ that tells fans in the southeast that football is right around the corner and we couldn’t be more excited than to kick it off in Hoover,” Lyda said.
On Tap is just one of dozens of places out-of-town guests can patronize and keep going.
“I know everyone’s excited to get a big crowd in and just new people,” Eason said. “I think it’s going to be a really good turnout for Hoover. We’re excited this year.”
Lyda said the city will have a much better idea of just how much of an economic impact this will make on the city in the coming weeks. Last year, the conference was set to be hosted in Atlanta, but it went virtual because of the pandemic.