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Kingsport to Study Downtown Ballpark

Kingsport MetsDiscussions on a new ballpark for the Kingsport Mets (Rookie; Appalachian League) are moving forward, as officials recently voted to launch a feasibility study on the potential project.  

Officials in the Tennessee city are considering a new ballpark for the Mets, which would be built near downtown Kingsport. The ballpark is envisioned as a facility that would be designed to host non-baseball events in addition to Mets’ games, including festivals, concerts, and more.

As part of the exploration process, Kingsport officials voted at a Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting earlier this month to approve a contract with Sterling Project Development. That vote allows the firm to begin a feasibility study that should be presented in about three months and provide some details on the potential project, including a cost estimate and preliminary sketches. More from the Kingsport Times-News:

During a Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting earlier this month, city leaders approved a $95,000 contract to hire a consulting firm — Sterling Project Development of New York — to conduct a feasibility study on the new stadium. SPD is a real estate advisory firm that’s affiliated with the New York Mets.

“This is a process we’ve gone through in the past with projects like the transit center,” explained Chris McCartt, assistant city manager for administration. “We bring in an architectural engineering firm, and they go through an initial design phase with information about the scope of the project and what our goal is at the end of the day.”

What Sterling will come back with in about three months is how much the project is going to cost to meet that goal, along with some initial sketches on what the stadium, the pedestrian bridge and an extended Martin Luther King Jr. Drive would look like.

The feasibility study would also look at the property north of Brickyard Park, land that’s been earmarked for private development. At one point, someone floated the idea of using it for residential. A pump track and walking trail — other ideas for the vacant Brickyard Park property — will not be included in the feasibility study.

The Mets currently play at Hunter Wright Stadium.

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