Stadium project will begin to take shape

Overhead view of new multi-use stadium

The year 2023 means Knoxville will begin to see what baseball and stadium fans all want – the beginning of construction.

Randy Boyd, the founder of Boyd Sports and operator of the Smokies baseball team, appeared on WBIR’s Inside Tennessee with an update on the overall project in a story that can be read HERE.

WBIR also posted the eight-minute clip to its YouTube page, which is embedded below or can be watched HERE.

Inside Tennessee host John Becker, using his best baseball analogy, asked which inning the stadium project was in, and Boyd pointed out it was the first inning with the preseason and prep work done to get ready for construction.

From digging trenches to dealing with the issues a brownfield presents, the last six months have been akin to spring training to get ready for the season.

“The game is just starting,” Boyd said. “Within the next few months, things are going to start coming out of the ground, and that’s going to be exciting.”

Other interview highlights include the condos adjacent to the stadium – 42 in total – have been pre-sold with a wait list started; a 250-unit apartment complex will be built with all balconies overlooking the outfield; naming rights associated with the stadium likely are to be available; the partnership with the Knoxville Area Urban Leadership will ensure minority participation; and announcements by other entities are likely to occur soon about additional development in the area around the stadium, which is located on the edge of the Old City in East Knoxville.

The full cost of the project is close to being finalized, according to Boyd, and that figure should come very soon, allowing the construction process of the stadium to start.

One of the best parts of the interview came when Becker asked Boyd if the Knoxville Smokies would play in the new stadium in spring 2025 as projected.

“We’re going to make it happen,” Boyd said. “Everybody’s determined, and there’s a lot of people working tirelessly to make sure that we do.”

Maria Cornelius, a writer/editor for Moxley Carmichael, is a lifelong baseball fan and longtime Smokies season ticket holder.