KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Four roads in the Old City neighborhood of Knoxville will be closed beginning August 8 as construction on the 7000-seat, multiuse stadium gets underway. The roads are estimated to remain closed until spring of 2025.
Previously, Jackson and Willow avenues and Georgia Street were closed as water and sanitary lines were moved. The roads surrounding the new stadium to be closed on Monday include:
- East Jackson Avenue, between Patton Street (and the Hall of Fame Drive overpass) to Florida and Randolph streets
- Florida Street, between Jackson and Willow Avenue
- Willow Avenue, between Florida Street and the Hall of Fame overpass
- Patton Street, between Willow and Jackson
These sections of roads form a rectangle around the site where the stadium is being built. The sidewalks for these roads will also be closed.
Grading and utility work are anticipated to continue through December, the city said. Construction on the stadium will begin in 2023.
Estimates for the project started at 65 million dollars in the early stages but swelled to 80 million dollars by spring 2022. Knoxville and Knox County have pledged to pay $65 million in public bonds with a $13.5 million economic development grant for the site included in the Tennessee fiscal budget. Rising costs have forced designers to cut some of the previously-planned elements of the stadium.
Tennessee Smokies Owner Randy Boyd donated to the city roughly half of the 14-acre site in the Old City neighborhood. Boyd Sports and the Tennessee Smokies AA Southern League baseball team will lease the stadium for $1 million annually.
The stadium is expected to be open in time for the 2025 baseball season, though officials have not ruled out that it may be ready to host other events by 2024. The stadium has been designed to accommodate hundreds of events per year including concerts, festivals as well as professional baseball and soccer games.
The new stadium is expected to create 400 full time jobs. The city said that the stadium and the surrounding private development in East Knoxville are estimated to have an economic impact of nearly $480 million over 30 years.