Sports Authority expresses optimism about current plans for multi-use Knoxville stadium

Knoxville Stadium

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The joint city/county sports authority met for a third time Tuesday. Board members are tasked with considering a proposal for a multi-use sports and entertainment complex in Knoxville’s Old City, and overseeing financing and construction if the proposal is approved.

Tuesday, members voted on housekeeping items including selecting a bank, financial advisor, and a firm for legal representation. The majority of the meeting was spent looking at renderings and asking specific questions about things including parking and stadium capacity. 

Renderings show the stadium itself would holding between 7000-7500 seats. The multi-use portion of the stadium was also on full display in the drawings. The complex would be used for Smokies baseball and potentially Knox Pro Soccer. There is also the potential to host between 200-300 events every year, ranging widely in size. One scenario includes a concert and 15,000 fans.

A question that’s often asked about the proposal is, “where would all these people park?” Developers looked into that. They found 7,500 spaces already available within a 10-minute walk to the stadium. More than 6,000 are free.

Jeff Hagood is excited for the potential for a concert packed with 15,000 fans. “that fits a real niche that we don’t have,” he said. “we have Thompson-Boling, we have the civic coliseum, so I was excited to hear that.”

Board members were also briefed on the upcoming “block party” community meeting scheduled for Saturday, July 17, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. It will be an opportunity for the public to ask questions and take part in fun activities. 

Stephanie Welch, Chief Economic and Community Development Officer for the City of Knoxville said everyone, of every age, is invited. “This is really a project that’s going to have, it’s going to be of interest to people who live in the immediate vicinity, who own businesses in the area, but really this is a county and region-wide project as well so we hope that people come from all over.”

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