Sports Authority nominees hope for confirmation, excited about stadium proposal

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Three of the seven nominees for the newly-formed sports authority shared their excitement Thursday, after being selected by Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs and Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon to serve.

A city spokesperson says, if confirmed, the sports authority will be responsible for doing a deep study of a proposed stadium and entertainment venue. If the proposal is ultimately approved, the authority will also finance, build, and manage the stadium.

The proposal calls for a $65 million dollar stadium to be built with public dollars. It would be leased by the Tennessee Smokies, but would be designed to accommodate other sports and has the potential to host hundreds of events every year.

The plan also includes more than $100 million in private investment, including restaurants, apartments, condos, and more. It’s that private investment opportunity that drives Tim Hill’s excitement of being nominated to serve on the sports authority. Hill is a developer and president of Hatcher-Hill Properties. He believes that private investment could result in $300-400 million in additional development.

He’s a big baseball fan, but noted he’s a bigger fan of growth in the city and county.

“It will be a catalyst for East Knoxville,” Hill said. That area has been, pretty much, an industrial zone that has been in decline for a number of years. It looks pretty much like a desert right now.

The nominees come with different backgrounds and experiences.

The list of nominees also includes Joan Cronan, former UT Women’s Athletic Director and member of eight Halls of Fame.

“I am very honored and excited about the sports authority and, if approved, I would really look forward to serving. I think sports has been an important part of Knoxville’s history and I look forward to it to continue growing and expanding. I’ve watched what sports have done for Indianapolis and I think will do some of the same for Knoxville,” she said.

Jeff Hagood also hopes to be confirmed by county and city leaders. “It’s a big honor to be nominated for the sports authority. It’s a big deal,” he said.

The recommendations will be voted on by City Council on April 20 and by County Commission on April 26.

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