KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Education opportunities continue for East Tennessee business owners looking to get involved in the upcoming construction of the $80 million Knoxville stadium.
On Tuesday, the Knoxville Area Urban League hosted another meeting for anyone wishing to learn more about opportunities to be part of the construction of the 7,000-capacity, multi-use stadium. Project leaders are planning to start construction on the multi-use stadium in February. The goal is to have the stadium open by the 2025 baseball season.
The Urban League has an ongoing mission to bring opportunities to minority contractors who might not otherwise become involved. The organization partnered with GEM Community Development Group to recruit disadvantaged businesses to participate in the project.
“We want to make sure that anybody who lives in East Knoxville that wants some employment at the stadium has the opportunity to benefit from this great economic development project that is happening only two blocks from the urban league,” said Phyllis Nichols, president of Knoxville Area Urban League.
Frank Rothermel, president of Denark Construction, the manager and general contractor for the project, took questions at the meeting along with city officials and developers. Attendees were able to hear about updates on the project design and receive information about current bidding opportunities.
“I think a lot of people are looking for opportunities and that’s what we’re doing here tonight, to try and make sure that everybody’s aware of the possibilities, whether that’s a person that needs a job or whether that’s a subcontractor that wants a project or whatever. It’s at all different levels,” Rothermel said.
Meanwhile the project is moving forward.
“We’re getting closer to having full construction documentation which will allow us to get accurate pricing and get ready to sign a construction contract,” CEO of Boyd Sports Doug Kirchhofer said.
Rothermel added the estimated cost of the project is somewhere in the $80 million dollar range.
They claim once the stadium is built, over time, the benefits will outweigh the costs.
“When we did our initial economic impact study, one of the things that we learned from that is that the experts told us that over a 30-year period, that the construction of the stadium and the initial private development that we were contemplating would generate over a billion dollars in economic activity over a 30-year period,” Kirchhofer said.