Nashville Mayor Karl Dean’s administration has presented state officials with plans to build an $80 million ballpark development for the Nashville Sounds on the old Sulphur Dell site, reigniting a push that once appeared dead.
Preliminary goals are to have the $40 million ballpark, plus a $10 million parking garage, constructed in time for the Sounds’ opening day in 2015. The project, which includes a residential development built with at least $30 million in private funds, would be on Jackson Street north of the Bicentennial Capitol Mall between Fifth and Third avenues.
Sulpher Dell, the projected site of the Sounds’ new home, does have a strong history with the Nashville baseball team. In fact, it served as the original home for the minor league, dating back to the 1860s. The last professional game was played there in 1963, and the ballpark was demolished in 1969.
With their desires made public, Dean’s office could reveal an offical proposal later this fall. A significant factor in the deal is 13 acres of state-owned property which would need to be approved for a land transfer by the state commission. (The state land currently consists of vacant lots and some state employee parking.)
The city-built garage would have between 500 and 750 spaces, according to the document, and would be available for use by state employees.
The announcement made this week includes an ambitious but tentative timeline that would see Metro Council approve the project in November so construction could begin next year. If things go according to the schedule, the ballpark would open months before Dean’s second term as mayor comes to an end.
Earlier this year, Metro extended the Sounds’ lease for the team’s use of the city-owned, aging Greer Stadium through 2016.
What do you think? Is Sulpher Dell a good place for a new Nashville Sounds’ stadium? Do you think this area is the next ‘it’ neighborhood in Nashville? Sound off in the comments section below!