KNOXVILLE (WATE) – In recent months conversations have amplified about the possibility of a baseball stadium in Knoxville, but are the pieces finally coming together?
Seven acres of land, a part of the Knox Rail Salvage property, is now owned by Randy Boyd, the owner of the Smokies baseball team. According to the Knox County Register of Deeds, Boyd is the managing member of RR Land LLC, which formed on December 30, 2014.
Mike Frazier, the owner of Knox Rail Salvage, said he agreed to sell his property for six million dollars, located at 400 E. Jackson to RR Land Inc. Frazier said the move will not impact their retail store at 200 East Magnolia and the Jackson location is the only location they plan to liquidate.
“With negotiations over the last 18 months, Randy Boyd and I found a number that worked for the both of us. I, with a great deal of trepidation, finally agreed to sell the property at 400 E. Jackson Avenue,” said Frazier about the sale. “I wish Randy the very best with the future development of this property and appreciate his sincere efforts to improve our city.”
On other property records, RR Land LLC, is the owner of six other adjacent properties on Willow Avenue and Patten Street. Frazier said he doesn’t know what Boyd plans to use the property for.
WATE 6 On Your Side reached out to Boyd for comment on the purchases, but have not received a response. A prominent member of the Knoxville community, Boyd owns Boyd’s Jig and Reel, a Scottish pub in the Old City of Knoxville and owns the building Lonesome Dove Western Bistro currently occupies. He’s also the founder and CEO of Petsafe and chairman of Radio Systems Corporation, which he started in 1991. He was named the commissioner of Tennessee Economic and Community Development by Governor Haslam in 2014.
“We take Randy Boyd at his word, that he does not have any definite plans for the Knoxville Rail Salvage property,” said Sevier County spokesperson Perrin Anderson. “He has stated publicly when he purchased the Tennessee Smokies that he intended to fulfill the lease in Sevierville and Sevier County with the AA Tennessee Smokies. However, several weeks ago Mr. Boyd approached us concerning the possibility of moving the Smokies out of Sevierville and Sevier County. As we stated to Mr. Boyd, we expect him to live up to the terms of the lease which expires at the end of the 2025 season.”
When asked if he hopes talks of a baseball stadium coming to Knoxville were true, Knoxville city council member Dan Brown, who represents the district said, “having the Smokies here would be good economically for the city. The Smokies started here and we’d love to have them or a minor league team here. If it were to happen it would be good news.”
From 1955 to 1999, Knoxville baseball teams played in Bill Meyer Stadium, formerly known as Knoxville Municipal Stadium, on Don Ridley Field. In 2000 Smokies Stadium opened in Kodak, just east of Knoxville.