Big news comes this way by way of the Nashville Sounds baseball team. More than 35 years after they started playing at Greer Stadium here in Nashville, they are set to play in a brand new ballpark after the Metro Council approved plans this week for the $80 million project.
Six years after the idea came to life, the project has finally come to life. Construction is expected to begin as early as January.
The ballpark, which we briefly blogged about a few months ago, is currently scheduled to open in time for the 2015 Pacific Coast League season, will sit between Jackson and Harrison streets and between Third and Fifth avenues. It will bringing baseball back to the historic Sulphur Dell site which was the original home of Nashville’s professional baseball leagues, dating all the way back to the 1860s. The last professional game was played there in 1963 with the old ballpark demolished in 1969.
The new ballpark is expected to boost the North Nashville area with plans to build a $60 million residential and commercial development by the Sounds’ owners, and $37 million worth of apartments by a San Antonio-based developer. While neither of those plans are yet guaranteed, they are seeking approval. A parking garage is also in the works.
The plans are for Metro government to build and own the Sulphur Dell ballpark and lease it to the Sounds for 30 years. The Triple A baseball franchise will operate and manage the facility and be held responsible for maintenance costs. The Sounds will get to keep revenue “generated through ticket sales, broadcasts, advertising and the like,” according to a summary of the lease terms. Metro will be responsible for capital expenses “necessary to keep the ballpark in good condition,” such as roof and seat replacements.
We will keep you up to date on this exciting new venture in Nashville.