KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The pace is about to pick up for the City/County Sports Authority Board. In their second meeting Tuesday, the board discussed a few internal needs including retaining an attorney, financial advisor, and liability insurance coverage.
The board voted to proceed with the Baker Donelson firm, subject to final costs. Board chair, Alvin Nance, cited their experience with this type of law and their commitment to diversity. He thinks the decision sets the tone for the board’s overall mission. He hopes it also sends a signal that they expect the same dedication to inclusivity from developers. “We recognize as a sports authority this is an opportunity to be inclusive for the entire community…I think it’s an opportunity to grow our city. But, i think it’s also an opportunity to shape our community and create a new vision,” he added.
We think it’s a great opportunity for the City of Knoxville, but it’s also an opportunity to draw more people into the tent,” Nance added.
The board also got a better idea of the potential timeline for the proposed $65 million public stadium. 2023 is still on the table, though 2024 is also a possibility. They’re in charge of approving any site plans or development agreement, and securing financing, before final approval by city and county leaders.
There will be multiple community meetings before the sports authority signs off on any plans. Those public meetings are set to happen in July, though specific dates and times have not yet been announced. County Commission could vote on the proposal as soon as September. City Council’s final vote on the project would most likely be held in January 2022.
The President of the Tennessee Smokies estimates construction for a minor league stadium to take between 14-18 months.
The multi-use stadium would be the home of the Double A Smokies baseball team as well as other activities for the community, including concerts, farmers markets and other events.