It’s official: Nashville’s Metro Council approved a $65 million financing plan today for a new Nashville Sounds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) ballpark at the site of the former home to baseball in the city, Sulphur Dell.
Today’s vote was the third needed to approve the deal, which calls for the city to spend $37 million on the ballpark, $23 million in land acquisition and another $5 million in capitalized interest. The new ballpark would open in 2015 and replace Greer Stadium as home of the Sounds. Work will start almost immediately on the project, with bonds being sold this week and a construction manager in place by Jan. 1. From The Tennessean:
Metro government will own the ballpark and lease it to the Sounds for 30 years. The Triple A baseball franchise will operate and manage the facility and be responsible for maintenance costs. The Sounds will get to keep revenue “generated through ticket sales, broadcasts, advertising and the like,” according to a summary of the lease terms. Metro will be responsible for capital expenses “necessary to keep the ballpark in good condition,” such as roof and seat replacements.
The Sounds are not putting any money directly in the ballpark: instead, owner Frank Ward is pledging to spend $60 million on a residential/commercial development near the ballpark; $750,000 in annual property tax payments would help pay down ballpark debt.
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