KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — It’s been nearly three months since the groundbreaking on the new Smokies stadium in downtown Knoxville but the design is being tweaked once again.
Room for 500 more fans in the outfield will be added by replacing a grassy berm beyond the left field fence with a terraced picnic area. Conversely, luxury seating behind home plate will be slightly reduced to allow for the option of premium table seating with food service.
Boyd Sports CEO Doug Kirchofer said the changes behind the plate will improve circulation around the area and protect sightlines. The design changes were approved by the Sports Authority Board on Sept. 26. They will cost an estimated $200,000 and be covered by Smokies owner Randy Boyd.
It marks the second time that stadium design plans have been altered. Previous changes were made last year to combat the rising costs of construction and materials.
Boyd and local authorities signed the $114 million stadium agreement in April, the majority of which will be funded through public bonds issued by the city and county.
The 7,500-seat stadium is expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2025 baseball season. Upon their return, the Tennessee Smokies will officially change their name back to the Knoxville Smokies.
Want to keep an eye on the construction progress? Developers have installed an on-site camera system that allows you to see the sight from several different angles.