KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A ceremonial groundbreaking was held at the home of Tennessee Baseball on Friday for major renovations that school officials say will make Lindsey Nelson Stadium one of the premier college baseball venues in the nation.
Friday’s event was a symbolic one as work on the stadium began shortly after the conclusion of the 2023 season. Dignitaries including Tennessee Chancellor Donde Plowman, head coach Tony Vitello, baseball great Todd Helton, and Director of Athletics Danny White gathered at Lindsey Nelson Stadium to celebrate and look to the future now that $95 million renovation proposal has become a reality.
“I think at the end, $95 million later, we will have one of, if not the, finest baseball setup[s] in the country from a student-athlete amenities standpoint, from a fan experience standpoint, and right smack dab in the middle of campus. The location couldn’t be better.Tennessee Director of Athletics Danny White
Helton and his wife, Christy, donated $1 million to the renovation efforts last year. The five-time MLB All-Star spoke at the groundbreaking about giving back to the school where he played both baseball and football.
“Christy and I wanted to pay it forward to ensure that future generations of Vols have great facilities to learn, train, and grow into good baseball players, but more importantly, good men.”
The seating capacity of the stadium will increase from around 4,300 to approximately 6,150 with the ability provide standing room access for an additional 1,600. Concourses will be widened to accommodate the increase in visitors, create social areas throughout the ballpark as well as add more restrooms and concessions.
New seating and amenities will be available along both the first- and third baselines starting in 2024. All renovations are planned to be completed in time for the 2025 season.
Areas along the third baseline will see major changes including the development of main entryways and more permanent seating, including more than 50 4Topps table units.
The expansion will add a premium level of 8,000 square feet with over 600 club seats and eight luxury suites.
University of Tennessee System leaders approved nearly $40 million of additional funding for the project earlier this year. The approval brought the total budget to $95.8 million.