Building a new Nashville Sounds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) ballpark at Sulphur Dell instead of a proposed waterfront site will save the city millions in construction and financing costs.
The new ballpark, to be built on the site of the historic Sulphur Dell ballpark, which served as home to Nashville baseball from the end of the Civil War to the 1960s, is currently budgeted at $37 million. The prior waterfront ballpark had a price tag of $43 million. In addition, the Sulphur Dell site is already flat and ready for construction; a lot of site prep would have been involved at the waterfront site. Add in the lower cost of borrowing money today, and you have the same amount of ballpark for less money. From The Tennessean:
“This site could not be easier to build a ballpark on,” [city architect Ron] Gobbell said. “The site’s flat and easily accessible and not part of an urban fabric. It’s easier to get to it and get in and out of it. We’ve got no rock to deal with, which is almost unheard of in Nashville.
“We’ve got a good plan going forward to get us a good, quality park,” he said, adding that new stadium renderings will be available next week….
[Nashville Mayor] Dean plans to have Metro pay the full $37 million construction cost — plus $23 million for land acquisition and $5 million for capitalized interest — by issuing municipal bonds. A mix of revenue streams, including lease payments by the Sounds and property taxes from a $50 million development the team’s owners are planning, would pay off most of the city’s $4.3 million annual debt, leaving Metro with a $345,000 annual payment for 30 years if everything worked according to the mayor’s plan.
One thing we hope to see in those new renderings: a guitar-shaped scoreboard in the outfield. Surely our friends at Populous and the Sounds front office will find space for a move of one of the most distinctive scoreboards in all of baseball, or at the least an updated version. This is Nashville, of course: go big or go home.
Ballpark rendering courtesy of Populous.
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