We have a new name for the home of the Johnson City Cardinals (Rookie; Appalachian League): TVA Credit Union Ballpark. The naming rights are part of a sponsorship package with Knoxville Employees TVA Credit Union, which will take over the name of the ballpark. The playing surface will still be known as Howard Johnson Field.
It has been an eventful offseason for the Cardinals, as Boyd Sports, LLC—the owners of the Tennessee Smokies (Class AA; Southern League)—took over management of the team and signed a 10-year lease. The new name will not be the ballpark’s only change in 2016: More than $400,000 worth of upgrades are on their way, including changes to the concessions, ticketing system, and the locker rooms, as well as a new picnic area/beer garden, which will be constructed down the third base line.
“We are excited about partnering with Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union,” said Boyd Sports Vice President Jeremy Boler. “Their commitment to the Johnson City Cardinals has created a new level of excitement for the ballpark and the community. This partnership continues to build on our vision for family entertainment and advance it towards the next level. TVA Credit Union Ballpark will be the place to be not only during the summer months, but for events throughout the year.”
“Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union is a non-profit, a cooperative. That means we not only work in our communities, but we live here and our children attend school here,” added Tammy Combs, Branch Manager at Knoxville TVA Credit Union in Johnson City. “So our communities are a part of us and it’s important to invest in our communities and to give back. Baseball is a wonderful sport that brings the community together. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, baseball is a great environment for people to come together and enjoy one another. And it doesn’t break the bank. That is the same thing we do for people and their finances. The Credit Union provides a safe, reliable environment for the community to keep and invest their money. For us, it’s a natural fit. At the end of the day, it’s about the Johnson City community and giving the residents of Johnson City a great experience.”
Following this season, more changes will occur, as a synthetic infield will be put into place. These upgrades should add to the experience at TVA Credit Union Ballpark, which is one of the more historic facilities in the Appalachian League. For more, check out Ballpark Digest contributing editor Mark Cryan‘s 2015 visit to the stadium.