KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Community leaders gathered Tuesday morning for a groundbreaking ceremony at the highly anticipated $114 million Knoxville stadium at 400 E. Jackson Ave. The event was invitation-only.
The ceremony marks the official start of the construction of the multiuse sports and entertainment complex near the Old City. It has been in development for years; Smokies baseball team owner Randy Boyd said during his remarks he and his wife Jenny have been working toward bringing baseball back to Knoxville since 2013.
Boyd also said the ceremony Tuesday was the second-best day for the stadium, as the best day will be the grand opening in March 2025.
A short program began at 9 a.m. followed by the groundbreaking ceremony. Speakers at the ceremony included Dr. Charles Lomax, president and CEO of Knoxville Area Urban League; City of Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon; Rev. Reneé Kesler, president of Beck Cultural Exchange Center; Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs; and Randy Boyd, owner of Boyd Sports.
Others in attendance included members of the Knoxville stadium Sports Authority Board, Boyd Sports, GEM Community Development Group, Partners Development, Denark Construction, BarberMcMurry Architects, DIA and Populous, as well as city and county elected officials.
A news release states the future venue will host baseball, soccer, festivals and concerts; plus, it will be the home of the Knoxville Smokies baseball team and One Knox SC soccer. The Smokies plan to play its first season in the new stadium in 2025.
Due to the stadium construction site’s safety restrictions, the event on Tuesday was invitation-only. More information on the venue’s development can be found on the City of Knoxville website here.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated.