Knoxville Smokies? We love it!
The Tennessee Smokies will take on a new name when the team moves back home to Knoxville.
The Smokies part will remain – its association with the team spans decades. The new part will be Knoxville, which returns the name used for the team from 1925 to 1967 and then again from 1993 to 1999 when it was called the Knoxville Smokies.
The name Knoxville will be part of the lease agreement, which is scheduled to be signed later this month, according to a story in the News Sentinel that can be read HERE.
The Smokies’ run in Knoxville ended after the 1999 season after previous ownership couldn’t work out a new stadium deal with the City of Knoxville or Knox County to replace Bill Meyer Stadium, which had opened in 1957 with minimal upgrades over the decades. The team then relocated to Sevier County and has played in Kodak since 2000.
Since that time, the Smokies changed ownership twice, and Boyd Sports will now return the team to Knoxville and retain the Smokies moniker, according to company founder and local entrepreneur Randy Boyd, who purchased the team in 2013.
Boyd told the News Sentinel: “It does identify us with a certain place in the world. There’s only one (Great) Smoky Mountains National Park.”
Smokies CEO Doug Kirchhofer said in the same story: “We don’t really see it as an end of an era. If you look at the Smokies history, it goes back over a century. I think this is just going to be a continuation of an enjoyable entertainment experience for residents and visitors to East Tennessee.”
If all goes as planned with construction, Minor League Baseball will be played again in Knoxville starting in the 2024 season.
For now, there are no plans to change the color schemes or logo. But we were kind of partial to this one in the 1990s.
This website was created to bring baseball back to Knoxville. Not only are the Smokies coming back, but so is the team’s name. Is it 2024 yet?
Blog author: Maria M. Cornelius is the writer/editor for Moxley Carmichael. She started attended Smokies games in Knoxville in 1988 when the team was known as the Knoxville Blue Jays – K-Jays for short – and is a longtime season ticket holder while the team has been in Kodak.