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Rising construction costs impacts new Knoxville ballpark

Proposed Knoxville ballpark

Rising construction costs driven by the pricing of materials and labor is impacting the price tag on a new Knoxville ballpark for the Tennessee Smokies (Double-A; Southern League), leading to a downsizing of the project.

How much will be altered is up in the air, as the development team is repricing construction costs and altering the plans accordingly. From the Knoxville News:

Knoxville and Knox County have pledged to pay up to $65 million, and the state has kicked in $13.5 million. Smokies owner Randy Boyd has committed $5.8 million to construction and cost overruns, and promised to bring in $142 million in private money to build 630,000 square feet of restaurants, retail and residences around the stadium. All these commitments were made before the projected costs soared this year.

“Uncertainty over prices and uncertainty over details of construction and plans are a bad combination when it comes to accurate bidding and accurate pricing,” [Tennessee Smokies CEO Doug] Kirchhofer said.

For now, the design team has a final plan and is working to produce construction documents that will reflect the changes and help determine a new cost. Current site work will continue during the process. Water and sewer line relocations are underway.

Some of the changes already underway include the removal of team offices from the ballpark to a neighboring building and downsizing of some group spaces. One feature unveiled by the team: a Tennessee-shaped scoreboard.

Rendering courtesy Tennessee Smokies.

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