Nashville Sounds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) ownership has settled on the city’s East Bank area as the site of a new ballpark, a week after a consultant identified three possible facility locations.
Populous identified three potential sites for a ballpark: the East Bank of the Cumberland River, Sulphur Dell located near Germantown and the North Gulch area north of Charlotte Avenue. The nod was given to the East Bank site, currently the home to a PSC Metals scrap yard; a report said the site “can produce impact on a grand scale.” It also says that development there “creates a new front door to downtown Nashville.” Meanwhile, Mayor Karl Dean called out the East Bank site: “I am especially intrigued by the East Bank site because it offers opportunity for more than just a baseball stadium. It could be the catalyst for a complete transformation of one of the last undeveloped, highly visible sections of our city’s skyline.”
Sounds ownership agrees; in an interview with the Tennessean, Frank Ward said the potential of the East Bank site could lure a larger financial commitment from his group. “Would we have a better financial commitment to the East Bank? Yes, absolutely,” he told the newspaper.
Putting a ballpark on the East Bank accomplishes many things for the city. First, it removes the scrap yard, considered by many to be an eyesore and certainly distracting from the view of the downtown vista. It immediately increases the value of the property while being able to draw new investment to the area. And it keeps the Sounds in Nashville, potentially paying more of the costs of a new ballpark.
There are some issues presented by the site, however. First, the ballpark is in a flood plain. Second, it won’t be cheap: the city will be on the hook to find and fund a new home for PSC Metals. Third, the site will need be cleaned up, and the extent of that effort isn’t know.
RELATED STORIES: Nashville ballpark sites narrowed to three; Researching ballpark sites in Nashville; Nashville seeking community input for ballpark site; Nashville once again moving forward on new ballpark
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