Stadium renderings come into shape

Overhead view

New renderings have been released, and while the final design remains in progress, the images offer a sneak peek of the vision for the multi-use stadium and its periphery, including a state of Tennessee-shaped scoreboard.

The unpredictability of the construction industry amid soaring prices has adjusted the timeline as far as approving the final cost, but the plan remains for the Knoxville Smokies to start play in 2025.

Doug Kirchhofer, CEO of Boyd Sports, provided the Knoxville-Knox County Sports Authority Board with the latest update in late July.

“Uncertainty over prices and uncertainty over details of construction and plans are a bad combination when it comes to accurate bidding and accurate pricing,” Kirchhofer said in this News Sentinel article.

In the meantime, Knoxville Utilities Board crews already are onsite to relocate water and sewer lines that, in some cases, are 100 years old. Streets around the perimeter of the stadium site have been closed, and site preparation and rough grading to allow the movement of heavy machinery onto the site should start in early August. Extended utility work to increase capacity for sewer and water, replace aging lines and address electrical and gas needs will start in October.

The final cost of the project and the accompanying particulars should be finalized in the fall, and the contract would go out to bid. Construction could start in January 2023 with an official opening in late 2024 or early 2025. That means first pitch for the Knoxville Smokies would occur in April 2025 as planned. The Compass outlined a lot of detail in this story, especially the financial aspects and modifications to the design to trim costs.

The News Sentinel also posted some clips of a virtual stadium tour during July’s meeting of the Knoxville-Knox County Sports Authority Board. It can be viewed HERE.

The new stadium renderings, shown below, reveal what a gem the stadium will offer for the region when it opens to host baseball, soccer, concerts, festivals and other community events in East Knoxville on the edge of the Old City.

Aerial view with James White Parkway lanes in background

View from West Jackson Avenue

View from east entry

View from left field looking toward Old City

Aerial view from outfield looking toward the east

Willow Street entrance

View from west entry

Aerial view from East Jackson Avenue

View across field at the watering hole for thirsty fans

As far as this writer, I examine each new rendering to determine where my season tickets will be located. I’ve settled on two options down the right or left field lines. In the meantime, the Tennessee Smokies play a fun brand of baseball at Smokies Stadium in Sevier County. I will continue to make that trek and count down the days to opening day in 2025.

Maria M. Cornelius is a writer/editor at Moxley Carmichael and longtime Smokies season ticketholder.