Aerial view of new baseball stadium

Baseball will be back

Knoxville’s history with professional baseball dates from 1896 to 1999.
The national pastime is coming home in 2025.

Knoxville’s downtown has experienced a rebirth and is poised for continued growth. Woven into the fabric of the neighborhood, a new publicly owned, multi-use baseball stadium will connect East Knoxville with the Old City and downtown.

The first phase of what is expected to be robust redevelopment of the area to the east and north of the site is a multimillion-dollar complex of private development surrounding the ballpark. With restaurant, retail, residential space and public plazas, the area will come alive.

Aerial view of new baseball stadium

Baseball will be back

Knoxville’s history with professional baseball dates from 1896 to 1999. The national pastime is coming home in 2025.

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Knoxville’s downtown has experienced a rebirth and is poised for continued growth. Woven into the fabric of the neighborhood, a new publicly owned, multi-use baseball stadium will connect East Knoxville with the Old City and downtown.

The first phase of what is expected to be robust redevelopment of the area to the east and north of the site is a multimillion-dollar complex of private development surrounding the ballpark. With restaurant, retail, residential space and public plazas, the area will come alive.


KNOXVILLE

TENNESSEE


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With the intention of bringing Minor League Baseball back to Knoxville, the City of Knoxville and Knox County started talks with Boyd Sports to build a multi-use, publicly owned stadium. In the final month of 2021, the city and county approved the plan to move forward with a new multi-use stadium. The stadium will host the AA team of the Chicago Cubs and serve as a catalyst for redevelopment in East Knoxville.

As part of this redevelopment, GEM Community Development Group, the private development partner to Boyd Sports, will undertake a major private development to complement the stadium.

Led by team owner, entrepreneur and successful businessman Randy Boyd – who has provided the land needed for the ballpark – the development group plans to rejuvenate an area of Knoxville that’s been overlooked for decades. GEM derives its name from East Knoxville’s historic Gem Theatre, a gathering point for the Black community that opened in 1913 and closed 50 years later.

The multi-use stadium will host the Smokies and other baseball events, concerts, festivals and even football and soccer. In addition, the stadium will include facilities to host business meetings, conferences, receptions, holiday parties and other year-round events. With the stadium facilities and a public plaza as a gathering place, it is anticipated the stadium can host hundreds of events a year. GEM's private development is anticipated to include residential buildings, restaurants and other entertainment and commercial uses.

Funding to build the 7,000-capacity ballpark will come through a Sports Authority jointly formed by Knoxville and Knox County, with support from Knoxville and Knox County. The cost estimate in 2021 for the stadium was $80.1 million, up from $65 million in 2019 because of the rising prices of steel and other materials due to COVID-19 pandemic-related inflation. The 2022 price has increased again as the economy remains on a rollercoaster, and all parties are working out final numbers.

However, a $13 million grant awarded in 2021 by the State of Tennessee reduces the amount that would have to be borrowed to pay for construction to $65.2 million, keeping the project on the original financial track with Boyd now willing to front a construction loan to get started in 2022 to address the latest cost. The stadium will be publicly owned and will be leased to the team on typical industry terms.

In 1921, nearby Caswell Park hosted the first professional baseball game of a new team known as the Knoxville Pioneers. Almost 70 years ago in 1953, the City of Knoxville constructed a stadium that eventually became known as Bill Meyer Stadium adjacent to Caswell Park. Fans enjoyed professional baseball at that municipal facility for more than 45 years.

We now can honor a century-old tradition of baseball in East Knoxville.

We put baseball back in our hometown – where it belongs.

BY THE NUMBERS
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0K
Estimated
stadium
capacity
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0.1
Acres
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$0MILLION
30-year
fiscal bump
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0K
Local jobs
supported

Stay connected with the Sports Authority

The Knoxville-Knox County Sports Authority will handle the funding, construction and management of the stadium. Click HERE for information and updates from the City of Knoxville. Click HERE for the Sports Authority's website.

THE VISION

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GEM Community Development Group and Knoxville Area Urban League have partnered to ensure minority participation.

If you are interested in the proposed construction of a multi-use stadium and surrounding private development, click the button for more information.


THE SITE

Denark Construction installed cameras to capture the demolition of structures on the site, and that phase of the project is now complete. Click the image arrow to see a time-lapse video on YouTube. The cameras will be live again when construction starts in 2023.


THE HOT STOVE

The Hot Stove is the name for the offseason as fans keep up with news, trades and free agent signings. In the game’s early days, people stayed warm around actual stoves to talk baseball. Part of the sport’s lore, it now has a page on MLB's website.

Click the images below to read our own Hot Stove updates about the stadium.

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Five takeaways from Knox News as stadium project moves forward.

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Stadium project gets go-ahead for new financing plan.

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Survey results say: Fund and build.

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Finances, fun and site preparation.

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Sneak peek of new renderings.

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Collegiate Vol baseball tournament would draw fans to stadium.

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Boyd Sports places two East Tennessee ballparks in ‘best’ finals.

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Boyd Family Foundation helps funds new home with SEEED Knox.

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Story of the Knoxville Giants will be captured at new stadium.

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East Knoxville ballpark officially reopens for youth sports.

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‘The Beauford Delaney Building’ to honor internationally acclaimed Knoxville artist.

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Smokies name remains. Knoxville moniker returns.

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Batter up Knoxville. Baseball is coming back.

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Can stadium approval bat a thousand? County Commission, City Council on deck.

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Mayor Indya Kincannon wholeheartedly supports new stadium construction.

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If you build it, he will come.

 

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Nightlife, game-day experience makes new stadium a ‘win-win.’

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Realtor survey reveals majority support for new multi-use stadium.

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Beck Cultural Exchange Center panel examines history, explores future

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East Knoxville youth sports’ playing fields to get major upgrade.

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South Carolina mayor to Knoxville: Build a baseball stadium.

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Community benefits will ensure diversity and equality.

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KAAR: ‘Simply an opportunity Knoxville cannot afford to miss.’

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WATE: ‘Bases are loaded’ for Randy Boyd.

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‘This project is about investing in our community.’

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Minority firms and individuals integral to all aspects of private development.

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Knoxville Area Association of Realtors backs ballpark legislation.

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Parkview Field offers model for success.

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‘Transformational’ project will change Knoxville landscape.

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Minor league stadiums enrich and revitalize cities.

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Formation of sports authority first step for a new stadium.

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TV coverage circles the bases for stadium news.

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Stay up to date. Follow Grand Slam Knox on Twitter.

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Get a bird’s eye view.

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Boyd Sports reveals plans.


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