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Nashville once ahead moving forward on new ballpark

Nashville SoundsNashville’s Metro is expected to issue an RFP in the next 30 or 60 days in search of a firm to scout out locations and identify funding for a new Nashville Sounds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) ballpark.

“The first step needs to be an analysis of where a stadium could be, looking at all the potential sites that have been discussed, doing an analysis of the sites and coming in with a recommendation of where it should be built,” said Metro Finance Director Rich Riebeling in an interview with Nashville City Paper. “Until we get that done, all the talk about baseball stadiums and all that are really just kind of speculative.”

The Sounds — under current and previous ownership — have pushed for a ballpark at an 11-acre former thermal plant site. But Mayor Karl Dean and other city leaders have a different vision: a new ballpark on the old Sulphur Dell site, once the center of baseball in the city.

In any case, the city’s RFP will be geared toward architecture, engineering or sports-business firms with a background in site selection and financial analysis. This isn’t anything that will happen soon: after the RFP is issued, it will be several months before a vendor is selected and then several more months before a report is issued.

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