First light pole set in place at stadium

Seating area of new stadium takes shape. (City of Knoxville photo)

The city’s official blog and local media have been updating progress on the new stadium – and we’re now one year away from the 2025 baseball season making its debut in Knoxville.

The City of Knoxville’s blog, which can be read HERE, notes that the stadium is 50 percent completed and ticked off a check box that included the wooden roof deck in place over the grandstands, foundation poured for the bridge over First Creek and 16 concession windows framed out on concourse. Concrete also is being poured for third base seating areas and for a a picnic area near left field.

The wooden roof over the concourse is “a major upgrade,” according to Barry Brooke, the Sports Authority’s construction representative. “It looks so much better, warmer and less industrial, than a metal roof.” He also noted that with the roof in place, crews can now “do all the framing in the dry.”

Six massive light poles – those will be hard to miss while walking or driving by – are starting to be put place with the use of a massive crane. The first one is now upright to add a new vertical landmark to the Knoxville skyline/

“The construction team is making really good progress,” Brooke said in the blog post. “The project is on schedule for the stadium to open in a little less than a year from now.”

A cool feature of the ballpark is a 360-degree concourse that will allow people to walk entirely around the playing field. It will go around the outfield and cross a bridge over First Creek. It’s likely to become a popular place to snag home run baseballs.

The multi-use stadium, which will host baseball, soccer, concerts and community events, has garnered significant media coverage since the project was announced. The reports have shifted from planning, financing and approval to stadium progress.

WBIR’s Vinay Simlot toured the site in a segment that can be watched HERE.

WATE also covered the progress in a recent report by anchor Lori Tucker.

The stadium remains on track to be ready for baseball in 2025. Let’s play ball are the best three words in baseball. (Hey, beer man, comes in second.)

Maria Cornelius, a senior writer/editor for MoxCar Marketing + Communications, is a lifelong baseball fan and longtime Smokies season ticket holder.