Stadium project ‘off and running’
Ryan Wilusz, who covers the downtown beat for the News Sentinel, has been busy, thanks in no small part to the announcement two years ago that Boyd Sports intended to bring Smokies baseball back to Knoxville.
Wilusz updated the project in a story published Sept. 5, 2022, at knoxnews.com and hosted Randy Boyd, founder of Boyd Sports and Doug Kirchhofer, CEO of Smokies baseball, on “The Scruffy Stuff” podcast.
The intro: As construction crews lay the groundwork for a new Tennessee Smokies stadium, team owner Randy Boyd’s bold and ambitious vision for creating a new centerpiece of downtown Knoxville is off and running.
The public hurdles are behind him; a multiuse minor league baseball stadium is happening in the Magnolia Warehouse District just east of the Old City, even with the volatile construction market.
That construction market led to the now-cleared public hurdles, which were outlined in this space HERE.
Wilusz and the podcast team outlined five takeaways from the one-on-one conversation with Boyd and Kirchhofer: the site could become the epicenter of downtown; the residential options, while not even built yet, already are popular; the stadium will have year-round access and accessibility to all, and construction delays allowed more time to train and prepare minority and disadvantaged contractors; cool features will be included such as batting cages visible to fans as they walk inside; and the fan base already is in place – about 65% of fans that attend games at the current stadium home in Sevier County Kodak come from Knox County or further west.
This writer, a resident of Knoxville since 1988, and Smokies season ticket holder, can attest to that last takeaway. I have lived in South Knoxville, West Knoxville, Northwest Knox County, Blount County and now Sevier County, and the common denominator has been trips to the baseball stadium – first to Bill Meyer Stadium in East Knoxville and then to Smokies Stadium in Kodak. The new stadium will be located one mile from the site of the old one in Knoxville.
The story has a lot more details and is well worth a read. The podcast is worth a listen, too. This website especially liked the end of the story: In addition to following knoxnews.com for updates, you can keep up with the stadium development at grandslamknox.com.
Thanks for the shoutout. See you at the ballpark.
Maria M. Cornelius, a writer/editor for Moxley Carmichael, is a lifelong baseball fan and longtime Smokies season ticket holder updates this blog.