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Knox County moves forward with new Smokies ballpark

Proposed new Knoxville ballpark

With Knox County signing off on a city-county sports authority, a new Tennessee Smokies (Class AA; Southern League) ballpark is one step closer to fruition.

The city of Knoxville had already signed off on the sports authority, which would finance, build and operate the new ballpark. Smokies owner Randy Boyd has assembled seven acres in the Old City area for a ballpark and associated development in what has been an industrial part of Knoxville.

The proposed $142-million mixed-use development in Knoxville’s Old City area would be anchored by a new $65-million ballpark for the Smokies. That ballpark for the Smokies would be the economic fuel driving the privately financed mixed-use development featuring 630,000 square feet of residential, restaurants and retail in the ballpark vicinity. A A sales tax implemented just for the ballpark events, would be implemented to partially finance the ballpark construction.

The Knox County vote doesn’t commit to a new ballpark, however, and a full ballpark financing plan still needs to be worked out.

With a lease for Smokies Stadium expiring in 2024 and Sevier County reportedly looking at development alternatives for the ballpark site, now is the time to begin planning for the team’s future. 

Rendering courtesy Tennessee Smokies.

RELATED STORIES: Work could begin next fall on new downtown Knoxville ballpark; Boyd unveils vision for new Knoxville ballpark; Impact of Potential New Knoxville Ballpark: Beyond the FencesNew Downtown Knoxville Ballpark for Smokies Discussed

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