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Nashville as MLB Expansion Market


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8 hours ago, subkyle said:

I understand that people like us on this board are annoyed by these newsless announcements. However from a business perspective it’s what you need to do. These guys are fishing for a deal and they are keeping the idea of MLB in Nashville on people’s minds. There are many billionaires out there to help finance this and I’m starting to believe that they will eventually piece it together. 

Yes…they are doing their best to stay relevant and hype this enough to hopefully bring a rich minority owner on board.  With many in MLB keeping Nashville’s name on the tips of their tongues…it’s probably not a bad thing to do.

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20 minutes ago, jmtunafish said:

NBC Sports California host Brodie Brazil sat down with Dave Stewart to discuss Stewart's plan to bring MLB to Nashville.  It's hard to watch this video and not be optimistic that this will actually happen.  Some of the nuggets from the interview:

  • The Nashville Stars will be the first minority-owned team in the MLB.
  • They absolutely do not want to move the Oakland A's to Nashville.
  • The planned stadium will be 42,000 seats, a number to honor Jackie Robinson.
  • They're partnering with TSU to build the stadium on 140 acres in North Nashville.
  • Those 140 acres will include mixed-use developments as well as a large entertainment venue of 25,000 seats, expandable to 50,000.
  • They're partnering with some big names in Nashville's music scene (Justin Timberlake, Blake Shelton, Garth Brooks) to make this happen.

 

Hard not to get excited about the potential here!

Guess the missing puzzle pieces are when baseball decides to give the "go" to expand, as well as a deep pocketed investor/set of investors. 

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8 hours ago, markhollin said:

I have a screen shot from Smeagolsfree's excellent development map that sows the Cumberland Shores area north of TSU's campus where this 140 acre baseball/entertainment complex would sit.

I really don't like this location for 3 primary reasons:

1) Access to it would be quite difficult for 42,000 people at the ballpark, and 25-50,000 for this adjoining entertainment venue they are proposing.  The closest interstate would be I-40, with the nearest interchange at 28th Ave. North/Jefferson St.  (which is simply NOT made for high levels of traffic) being nearly a mile away at about 14 blocks. The next closest would be I-40 at 46th Ave. North, and would require cutting event traffic though a primarily residential portion of The Nations on narrow roads, and being at least 2 miles to the Ballpark Village area.

I thought the same thing about Geodis Park, was 100% SURE it would be a traffic nightmare and even with a game at max capacity it wasn’t at all. So it’s possible it wouldn’t be there either. 

Other than that, totally agree. 

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8 hours ago, natethegreat said:

North Nashville is too dangerous for this

Like Downtown and Broadway are “SAFE” . All areas have their pro and cons, but a positive attitude makes for a better tomorrow. Maybe if the people behind this MLB in Nashville, can successfully fulfill this vision , it will trigger a new beginning for that area of the city. Maybe Metro and the State can work to improve the access and build some new appropriate roads and North Nashville can blossom. After all , development and growth throughout the Metro is what we all desire, and everyone and everywhere deserves.

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10 hours ago, PaulChinetti said:

I thought the same thing about Geodis Park, was 100% SURE it would be a traffic nightmare and even with a game at max capacity it wasn’t at all. So it’s possible it wouldn’t be there either. 

Other than that, totally agree. 

But GEODIS has 3 different freeway options, two of which are less than a mile away with larger feed roads, and the third being 1.5 miles with major feed roads (both one way in either direction). 

And there's also a big difference between 17 home games, and 81 home games when dealing with traffic flow like this. 

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3 hours ago, markhollin said:

But GEODIS has 3 different freeway options, two of which are less than a mile away with larger feed roads, and the third being 1.5 miles with major feed roads (both one way in either direction). 

And there's also a big difference between 17 home games, and 81 home games when dealing with traffic flow like this. 

Not disagreeing. The amount of people that have been driving to the soccer games has been a lot less than I thought it would be too. 
 

But I see your point!

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I'll have to see if I can dig up anything as this relates to TSU.   It could also be a means for TSU to get a new on campus football stadium in some round about manner.  I personally hate football being played in a baseball stadium so I hope that is not the case.  And, if I recall there was a statement by the group looking to bring MLB to Nashville that they want a baseball only stadium.  But, could a partnership with TSU generate the funding that TSU needs to renovate/expand Hale Stadium.  I know that there is $18M targeted for something with Hale stadium.  What that is, I don't know.  But it is a line item in a document I saw on funds appropriations for State Colleges and Universities.  

Also, since someone brought up the whole gentrification issue derailing the I-40 cap, I don't think this would be the same given that there is no housing currently in the area being looked at.  If anything, it would be a way for TSU to increase alternative housing in the area for students.  They could actually do like some universities and allow developers to build student housing for profit.  It would eliminate the need for TSU and the State having to do it.    Temple University did that with some of their land.  

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13 minutes ago, PillowTalk4 said:

I'll have to see if I can dig up anything as this relates to TSU.   It could also be a means for TSU to get a new on campus football stadium in some round about manner.  I personally hate football being played in a baseball stadium so I hope that is not the case.  And, if I recall there was a statement by the group looking to bring MLB to Nashville that they want a baseball only stadium.  But, could a partnership with TSU generate the funding that TSU needs to renovate/expand Hale Stadium.  I know that there is $18M targeted for something with Hale stadium.  What that is, I don't know.  But it is a line item in a document I saw on funds appropriations for State Colleges and Universities.  

Also, since someone brought up the whole gentrification issue derailing the I-40 cap, I don't think this would be the same given that there is no housing currently in the area being looked at.  If anything, it would be a way for TSU to increase alternative housing in the area for students.  They could actually do like some universities and allow developers to build student housing for profit.  It would eliminate the need for TSU and the State having to do it.    Temple University did that with some of their land.  

I doubt MLB would even allow a newly constructed stadium to be dual use with football. This project does not seem to have any real legs. 

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3 hours ago, Bos2Nash said:

I understand why they are looking here and applaud what they are doing. I do disagree that this is an ideal location (see my last thoughts), but really applaud the mindset they are taking and the reasons they are doing it.

There are a couple things to unpack from Mark's comments above.

1) Access would absolutely be abysmal at first, absolutely. 28th/Ed Temple Blvd would most likely have to be expanded from I-40 to Buchanan Street or even Clarksville Pike. While this is expensive (especially the 28th stretch), not totally unreasonable as there appears to be a fair amount of frontage. The other way in to this stadium (from the east) would probably be from the Metrocenter side and handled with interstate signage and such to get folks off the interstate and moving around that collector road. Coming from the West is a bit more difficult because 51st would most likely be the primary exit, because the next one wouldn't be until Jefferson Street. 51st is already a fairly large road, possibly some of the stop signs would get converted to signals (GASP) and the 51st & Centennial intersection could finally be addressed properly. I think the ownership would have to have a very good traffic plan and lots of money for roadway improvements, but I don't think it is insurmountable. GEODIS Park is a great example, even if they are slightly closer to the highway. Gillette Stadium is another great example of lack of highway connection, but still very successful mixed-use development.

2) Flood plain could be a concern as most of the site is sitting in the 100 year flood plain – this equates to a 1% chance of flooding year over year. The River North site is the same way and look at what is being planned there. Nissan Stadium and the new proposed location mysterious has had the flood plain drawn around (kind of odd in how that happened) and PSC Metals is within the 500 year flood plain, so a 0.2% chance to flood year over year. Flood mitigation can easily be planned for and probably would still not jump land cost up to East Bank levels (I'm thinking what the land + cleanup of PSC would cost an ownership group because Metro cannot and should not entertain those costs).

3) Yes it is outside the hustle and bustle of Downtown Nashville, but maybe they don't want to be associated with the ruckus that is downtown Nashville? You look at other major, big boy cities and their ballparks are not all located right downtown. Fenway Park is located within Boston and what everyone knows as the city, but it is located 2.14 miles from the heart of downtown with almost ZERO interstate access. The North Nashville site is located 2.75 miles from Lower Broadway. I would also argue that we could see the city proper expand over the next 30 to 50 years (which should be the MINIMUM target lifespan of a stadium), where that number comes down. Additionally, rather than the Sports Authority owning the stadium, maybe this stadium will technically be owned by TSU and the Stars would be a tenant. This would be a large revenue stream for TSU, would possibly help finance the Cumberland City Project (Mark highlighted in the map) for the university's expansion. The City Project is 84 acres according to TSU's website and the ownership group said they are looking at approximately 140 acres. The area on the development map is approximately 182 acres, which leaves about 42 acres of overlap (and would also eliminate the entire TSU Farm/Goat-Cattle facilities, unsure if that is desired by the university) where there could be shared buildings (ie student housing, academic buildings, etc) that could then feed off one another. In theory, a baseball stadium (owned by TSU) could kick TSU up to a Vandy level presence within the city and if that happens, who gives a crap about 2.75 miles.

They are absolutely looking at the North Nashville site from a money perspective, but I believe what Dave Stewart laid out is also laying out something bigger than just baseball. Maybe they are partnering with TSU in a partnership to bring baseball to TSU (they currently have softball, but no baseball program) and they are seeing a potential to bring a baseball program to a HBCU school in order to help create a more opportunity to increase the demographic within baseball. They talk about different hiring practices, maybe they will look at different scouting practices. The site is also a historically redlined neighborhood, so they could possibly be looking at breathing a new sense of life and commercial gain into the area. I don't think the baseball stadium would be a huge economic driver, but it would give the North Nashville, TSU/Fisk areas something they could be proud of. Something that they want to go spend some time during the weekend around or possibly even a mid-week night out. Something the highway cap (which I was big time in favor of) really did nothing of the sort.

All this to say, I still believe that if enough money is thrown at First Horizon Park (because the Sounds would not survive a Major League team in the same city), it could be converted into a Major League stadium. It would probably require a rebuild surrounding the field, but there is plenty of space to add seats around the stadium. No ownership group will admit to that because every ownership group wants their own shiny, new space (cough Titans cough) but it is very much doable. 

I think you are dead on about the interchange at 28th & I 40. It would be a fix to the problem of access, but it would still be a choke point for sure. As stated, there would be a lot of push back concerning gentrification. That is going to be a big concern even if it has minority ownership. They are still out of towners trying to change a community, and it would be a big change.

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3 minutes ago, TheRaglander said:

Have to disagree.  I have season tickets at Geodis and it's a nightmare.  I have had tickets in lot E and getting in and out is maddness.  The first game, my friend sat in the race track parking lot for hours waiting to get out.  Now, obviously one can park far away and walk a long distance and maybe traffic is "better".  But if you park close, it's a cluster to get out.

I think anytime you have a huge group of people leaving anywhere it's gonna be a nightmare, not sure there is anyway to alleviate that, is there?

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1 minute ago, PaulChinetti said:

I think anytime you have a huge group of people leaving anywhere it's gonna be a nightmare, not sure there is anyway to alleviate that, is there?

Not to get off the MLB topic, although maybe it pertains, but the traffic control from law enforcement could be better coordinated.  Flowing the foot and car traffic directly towards Wedgewood is a nightmare.  Coming out of lot E I would like to turn left and head to the 100 Oaks area.  Spread it out.  People walking towards Wedgewood dart out in front of cars and I have seen many come close.  I waited 45 minutes just to park once because the cops and those controlling pedestrian traffic into the close lots were not coordinated.  In any case, there's no question that the parking situation is a major problem for NSC.  I am glad you haven't experienced that.  Can you give up your secret parking spot?  :)  

But I do understand that large events will have "traffic".  I have been to so many Preds/Titans games and concerts.  I don't mind walking from the MCC to Nissan for games...  But the NSC situation is just different.

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  • markhollin changed the title to Nashville as MLB Expansion Market

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