KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — While work on the $114 million multi-use stadium in East Knoxville continues, a major funding milestone was hit this week with a bond sale that will fund the majority of the project.
The Knoxville-Knox County Sports Authority’s financing team, led by J.P. Morgan, sold the $65 million in publicly-backed bonds to construct the stadium on Wednesday. The 30-year bond issue achieved a true interest cost of 5 percent.
City and county debt obligations remain unchanged, according to a city release. The project remains within budget and on schedule with the target completion date in 2025, the city said. Click here for a breakdown of all funding sources.
With a capacity of 7,000, the Smokies are expected to begin playing at the stadium located east of the Old City neighborhood in 2025. The site has been touted as a multi-use stadium that will also host other events like soccer matches, festivals, and concerts and be open for public visitation on off-days.
Utility work in the area began in April 2022. A groundbreaking ceremony on stadium construction is expected to take place in June.
“We negotiated a successful sale, which was completed today,” Sports Authority Treasurer Richard Bass said. “One benefit to going to the market when we did was to mitigate the risk of increasing interest rates. Both the City and the County have strong credit ratings, which we believe attracted buyers and allowed the financing to be accomplished.”
The Knox County Community Development Corporation, the city’s public housing authority and redevelopment agency, will enter into a development agreement related to the construction of a mixed-use building adjacent to the stadium called the Beauford Delaney Building as part of the agreement. Another $70 million apartment project adjacent to the stadium was announced earlier this month.