KNOXVILLE TN

Progress At The New Multi-Use Stadium District Near Downtown Knoxville TN.

The City of Knoxville and Knox County are gearing up for the construction of its new publicly owned sports and entertainment stadium and new home of the MiLB Tennessee Smokies. The Knoxville Sports Authority will oversee the financing, construction, and management of the new stadium. The new facility is located on a collection of former industrial and commercial properties just east of the Old City and Downtown Knoxville. The address is 601 E Jackson Avenue.

The existing stadium is in Kodak Tennessee, a suburb of Knoxville, with a capacity of 6,000 seats and 18 suites.  The stadium was completed    back in 2000 for $13 Million. The new ballpark will have a 7,000-seat capacity and with seating on the field, could seat 15,000 for concerts.  It will also anchor a new surrounding mixed-use district.  The public-private partnership anticipates a total cost of around $90.1 Million, this is up from $65 Million prior to the pandemic. 

An independent analysis estimated that the total economic impact of the publicly owned stadium and surrounding private development in East Knoxville will be $480 million over 30 years, with more than 400 full-time jobs created. Here’s the quick rundown:


Development Rundown

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Preliminary Site Plan

Knoxville Ballpark

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Preliminary Renderings

The stadium proposes a mix of offices and residences which will activate the street level with various commercial uses.  The design emphasizes pedestrian and visual connectivity between the Old City and East Knoxville. According to the architect, these connections are a purposeful part of the design, intended to reconnect to downtown the predominantly Black and minority neighborhoods that were demolished and separated during Urban Renewal. GEM Associated Architects (Barber McMurry and Design Innovation Architects) and Boyd Sports have worked closely with community leaders, the Beck Cultural Exchange Center, and Knoxville Area Urban League on meaningful connections that will hopefully encourage grassroots restoration of these communities.

The redevelopment effort surrounding the Ballpark is led by team owner and entrepreneur Randy Boyd who provided the land needed for the ballpark.  GEM Community Development Group, the private development partner to Boyd Sports, will undertake the major private development to complement the stadium.  GEM’s anticipates a mix of residential, restaurants, and other entertainment and commercial uses.  GEM derives its name from East Knoxville’s historic Gem Theatre, a gathering point for the Black community that opened in 1913 and closed 50 years later.

The redevelopment effort surrounding the Ballpark is led by team owner and entrepreneur Randy Boyd who provided the land needed for the ballpark.  The Tax Increment Financing district surrounding the publicly-owned multi-use stadium will leverage the private investments as part of a plan to address anticipated higher construction and labor costs for the stadium.  GEM Community Development Group, the private development partner to Boyd Sports, will undertake the major private development to complement the stadium.  GEM’s anticipates a mix of residential, restaurants, and other entertainment and commercial uses.  GEM derives its name from East Knoxville’s historic Gem Theatre, a gathering point for the Black community that opened in 1913 and closed 50 years later.

Initial construction started in the summer of this year and resulted in the closing portions of three streets to accommodate the relocation of water and sanitary sewer lines.  That initial work has concluded and now, Denark Construction crews have started grading of the stadium site.  Site grading will also make way for additional utility line relocations and upgrades to the electricity, water, gas,and sewer system infrastructures.  Building construction is anticipated for to start in 2023 with a 2025 opening.

Here is a look at current construction progress at Knoxville’s new multi-use Stadium.

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