RemarkableHomes

First Tennessee Ballpark - Complete

825 posts in this topic

I have been a long time reader of this forum, but this is my first time posting. My first step into Nashville advocacy is a petition to Mayor Karl Dean to redevelop the riverfront with a park system and baseball stadium: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/nashvi...riverfront.html

Let me know what you think! Obviously, I did not stuff the online petition full of details that most would gloss over anyway, but the general idea is this:

Our hope is that the baseball stadium and park system will be paid for the exact same way the old convention center was paid. The city issued bonds that we payable over 20 years. They were paid solely by tourism dollars and an airport tax which is now going towards the new convention center (Music City Center). It is our hope that the new convention center would designate a percentage of their revenues towards this riverfront redevelopment. We advocate that all of the tax dollars collected go towards Davidson County schools only...not into the "rainy day" fund as proposed. We want Davidson County schools to be the ultimate benefactor for all of these projects, but you have to do 3 things first: Build a population in Davidson County (not just Green Hills and Vandy area), collect those new tax dollars, and build the schools reputations so that those new residence choose public over private schools.

Edited by RemarkableHomes

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Welcome to the forum.

I appreciate your interest in downtown Nashville, I completely agree and want Nashville to have a downtown stadium. However, I have a few changes to your petition that I hope you consider revising.

1. The riverfront is a small property. It's smarter to build a minor league stadium in an area that is suitable to make additions to the stadium if Nashville has the opportunity to secure a MLB team, as opposed to building a completely new stadium in a new area from scratch.

2. Let's not take away funds from the Convention Center until we know the exact price of the convention center and if we know that we will have sufficient funds to build it. The MCC will bring in more revenue for the city when completed, so let's make sure we get that done first.

Other than that, I really think a downtown baseball stadium would do great things for Nashville, just hope it's not at the riverfront. I love the fact that funds will be issued to davidson county schools, that's great for our city as well. Downtown Nashville needs to be a family place, and the baseball stadium is great for families. Let's get it (As well as Signature Tower, the MCC and CC Hotels, Westin, West End Summit, and 1201 & Demonbreun!!)

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Honestly.. if we do ever get a MLB team here.. are they going to be satisfied with taking over an expanded minor league park? And what would we do with the Sounds at that point?

I think it would be more likely that a new MLB stadium would be built.. or possibly a new combination stadium for the Titans & MLB. Just my opinion.

Anyway.. i'm not sure what I think about taking away funding from the MCC either? But I guess it has to be funded somehow...

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One the subject of converting a AAA park to a MLB park, it's really not feasible. It's something the Sounds looked into when they were working to develop the new stadium downtown. HOK was working for the Sounds together with Braislford and Dunleavy. Both were on the Washington Nationals stadium development team as well. As an example, the Nationals new stadium that opened in 2006 cost over $600M. The Yankees Stadium that is currently under construction is projected to cost over $1B. Granted Nashville is not D.C. or NYC, a new stadium say 10-20 years out would be easily cost over $600M in inflated dollars to build, even for a small stadium. The proposed downtown ballpark had around 10,000 seats. New Major League Baseball stadiums have 40,000-56,000 seats.

A nice minor league park would cost upwards of $55M if started today on a flat site with great soil conditions which this is not. The scales are vastly different between AAA and MLB. A site could be reused, but not the Thermal site. It's just too small for MLB unless it was built out over the rail tracks and river. I do not believe that to be feasible.

It's still a great site for Minor League Baseball and other ancillary development / green space.

Edited by hayesmw

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I have been a long time reader of this forum, but this is my first time posting. My first step into Nashville advocacy is a petition to Mayor Karl Dean to redevelop the riverfront with a park system and baseball stadium: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/nashvi...riverfront.html

Let me know what you think! Obviously, I did not stuff the online petition full of details that most would gloss over anyway, but the general idea is this:

Our hope is that the baseball stadium and park system will be paid for the exact same way the old convention center was paid. The city issued bonds that we payable over 20 years. They were paid solely by tourism dollars and an airport tax which is now going towards the new convention center (Music City Center). It is our hope that the new convention center would designate a percentage of their revenues towards this riverfront redevelopment. We advocate that all of the tax dollars collected go towards Davidson County schools only...not into the "rainy day" fund as proposed. We want Davidson County schools to be the ultimate benefactor for all of these projects, but you have to do 3 things first: Build a population in Davidson County (not just Green Hills and Vandy area), collect those new tax dollars, and build the schools reputations so that those new residence choose public over private schools.

Welcome to the forum RemarkableHomes. Hope to you active in many threads here.

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One the subject of converting a AAA park to a MLB park, it's really not feasible. It's something the Sounds looked into when they were working to develop the new stadium downtown. HOK was working for the Sounds together with Braislford and Dunleavy. Both were on the Washington Nationals stadium development team as well. As an example, the Nationals new stadium that opened in 2006 cost over $600M. The Yankees Stadium that is currently under construction is projected to cost over $1B. Granted Nashville is not D.C. or NYC, a new stadium say 10-20 years out would be easily cost over $600M in inflated dollars to build, even for a small stadium. The proposed downtown ballpark had around 10,000 seats. New Major League Baseball stadiums have 40,000-56,000 seats.

A nice minor league park would cost upwards of $55M if started today on a flat site with great soil conditions which this is not. The scales are vastly different between AAA and MLB. A site could be reused, but not the Thermal site. It's just too small for MLB unless it was built out over the rail tracks and river. I do not believe that to be feasible.

It's still a great site for Minor League Baseball and other ancillary development / green space.

Since you're in the know, can you tell us what IS going on with the Thermal Site? I don't feel like I've heard about it since like.... January.

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Thanks for the info, hayesmw. I haven't heard of any precedent for converting from AAA to MLB, but you never know.. ? I agree the site is too small - and combining with the Titans stadium is probably most likely, IMO.

Wondering.. were tourism/MCC dollars planned to be used for funding the Sounds stadium, under the previous plan that you were/are involved with?

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Thanks for the info, hayesmw. I haven't heard of any precedent for converting from AAA to MLB, but you never know.. ? I agree the site is too small - and combining with the Titans stadium is probably most likely, IMO.

Wondering.. were tourism/MCC dollars planned to be used for funding the Sounds stadium, under the previous plan that you were/are involved with?

No, there were no tourism/MCC dollars allocated to the stadium counstruction. In the simplest of terms, it was privately financed. The Sounds were to finance with their lenders half of the total value of the stadium construction, SBER was to construct significant development around the stadium which would generate a big increase in property taxes. SBER, instead of using the available TIF generated from these developments to subsidize their portion of the development, was to contribute its TIF allocation to the stadium construction.

Nationally, there are examples of both publicly subsidized and privately financed AAA stadiums.

Edited by hayesmw

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Since you're in the know, can you tell us what IS going on with the Thermal Site? I don't feel like I've heard about it since like.... January.

I really have not heard much about the site since August, 2007, just before the last election. I cannot claim to be "in the know" on the site at this time. I have not heard any rumors or new proposals in the last 10 months. Outside of grass cutting crews, I have not even seen people walking around the site trying to envision new ideas. There is still tremendous community support for the plan that was put together a few years ago. It would be great to see it come alive again.

Pulling out a crystal ball, I would hope that the Riverfront Master Plan is updated in the future and incorporated with a greater Convention Center area (perhaps river to 12th, Peabody to Demonbreun) and Rolling Mill Hill Master Plan. I believe that the Convention Center development could be a great catalyst for increased retail in the neighborhood and better connectivity to the river.

In the context of redeveloping our city, many of the new buildings built today are build to last. The Schermerhorn Symphony Center for example was purposefully designed to have greater than a 300 year useful life.

The Thermal Site should receive considerably more attention than it has in the last 12 months as Rolling Mill Hill continues to redevelop and the Convention Center plans gel. I do not think there should be a sense of urgency or a rush to redevelop the site with a new plan. Plans will come together organically over the next couple of years as the city continues to grow in this direction. Also, we do have a new Council and Mayoral Administration that have had bigger issues to deal with since coming into office last fall. In that context, it really has not been all that long since there have been no concrete plans for the site, especially when you think about how long a decision will ultimately impact the City in the form of what is actually built there.

I continue to believe that the site is well suited for mixed use development with green space, an attraction of some sort (baseball or a music venue/park for sure) and a greenway connecting RMH to downtown. If the Riverfront Master Plan is implemented, there might even be access to the river from the proposed Demonbreun Pier and Walk on Water.

On the baseball front, I believe that in the next 4-15 years, Nashville will have a new downtown ballpark or Greer will see significant renovations. I'm just not sure who will own Nashville's franchise or how the change will be structured. We may even loose baseball here for a few years to actually see it happen, but in the not too distant future, baseball will be played in a better home than Greer as it exists today. It's just too good of a market for minor league baseball for us not to have better facilities.

Edited by hayesmw

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^ The Thermal site is a very important spot for downtown.. and I agree there should be no rush to build on it.

I had no idea Schermerhorn was built to last 300 years! That's amazing to think about.

This all goes right along with what Dave posted regarding the West End Summit..

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Looks as if the Sounds and the mayors office are having a continuation of the a lovers quarrel here. Dean says baseball is his favorite sport, yada, yada, yada, but the Sounds and metro are no closer to an agreement for any upgrades to Greer stadium, much less a new stadium. I find all of the talk out of the mayors office a little odd, when he says one thing at his state of metro address and then is mum about the Sounds. Wonder what he is up to here.

http://nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=61984

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Looks like talks are picking back up.. now that we have a different Mayor and different owners for the Sounds thumbsup.gif

Sounds may find new home on riverfront after all

According to Metro Finance Director Richard Riebeling, preliminary discussions have centered on three locations: the 11-acre old thermal plant site near the Cumberland River; a stretch of parking lots north of the Tennessee State Capitol where the historic Sulphur Dell baseball field once sat; and along the river’s east bank close to LP Field

“We had a meeting with (Sounds ownership) a few weeks ago to just talk about their interest in the stadium and different locations, but we didn’t leave with any proposal,” Riebeling said. “It was really more concept. There’s still a lot more work to do.”

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Well maybe there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel after all. Need to do something with the riverfront, especially the east side and the thermal site!

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North Nashville pushes for stadium at Sulphur Dell

I would much rather see Sulphur Dell continue to develop as more of low to mid rise mixed use neighborhood. A new baseball stadium would take a huge swath of land that will otherwise be used for residential development in the coming years. IMO the thermal plant parcel, if developed correctly, is idea for this type of venue.

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I would like to see this revived. The mayor has a lot on his plate, but I would like to see this get going. I still like the idea of the thermal site, but either site would do well. Sulphur Dell would tie in with North Nashville wonderfully, but the thermal site would tie in with the new riverbank developments.

SEC

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My gut feeling (based, in part, on talks I've had with various officials) is that a new minor league baseball stadium will be built in North Capitol and not on the former Thermal site. I would be very supportive of a NoCap site.

WW

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ESU (hey man), I completely agree about a North Cap site. I think we all got a bit starry-eyed over the drawings of the thermal site development back in the Streuver days and rightfully so; they were extraordinary. Times have changed and I guess we'll wait longer for Primo Lando to show us something new in possibilities. With Germantown and environs, plus the possibility of the state archives and Tn State Museum and such looking more likely, the boost to connectivity would be huge. The land could be available. Certainly nothing on it now. With the Bicentennial Mall so close, it would lend itself to the family thing with a baseball component. A parking structure could be built to serve the games and the city and be done so in a manner which would not interrupt good taste (i.e. Dederick garage). I close my eyes and think about the view now from that area. Think about how it would look with the stadium, etc. and all that would come with it eventually. And people.

We (the city, everyone) has been through a rough couple of years. Lots of the good stuff has been shoved to the back burner. The owners of the Sounds have certainly expressed a desire to get something done so something feel-good like this would be a great thing. It would certainly be nice to see renewed activity in that area which would do so much into helping the rebirth of Jefferson.

I'm not worried about the thermal site. It's prime stuff. I doubt we'll see George Jetson's tower there, but surely something very interesting will happen.

Edited by it's just dave

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I would not be so fast to dismiss the Thermal site. It is the one site that the owners of the team want. In the end the City will need the owners to put up a vast majority of the funding for this facility to make it work and I do not believe they will do this for any other site. They have a solid plan which calls for the facility to be designed in such a way that it also works well as an 8500 seat music venue for additional days of usage beyond baseball and lends itself to other festival type events which the downtown area merchants really want. The success of events like the CMA on the immediate downtown economy and the addition of a facility that has multi use implications (like a new home for the July 4th celebration, etc.) is going to weigh heavily in this discussion.

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The key here is connectivity and where the city envisions growth. There has been a lot of discussion over the years on the north capital side of things and certainly the north and north west sides of the downtown district need work such as the area including massive lots behind and near the Snodgrass Tower. All of the area by the new Greyhound temporary site etc...would greatly be effected by a ball park on the old Sulphur Dell site.

The city also needs to consider what is manageable. Does the city want everything in a dense area, or do we want it spread out all over downtown? Do we want to incorporate the Sounds stadium with the Titans Stadium and have joint events? Do we want to incorporate Rolling Mill Hill?

A lot remains to be seen.

SEC

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The key here is connectivity and where the city envisions growth. There has been a lot of discussion over the years on the north capital side of things and certainly the north and north west sides of the downtown district need work such as the area including massive lots behind and near the Snodgrass Tower. All of the area by the new Greyhound temporary site etc...would greatly be effected by a ball park on the old Sulphur Dell site.

The city also needs to consider what is manageable. Does the city want everything in a dense area, or do we want it spread out all over downtown? Do we want to incorporate the Sounds stadium with the Titans Stadium and have joint events? Do we want to incorporate Rolling Mill Hill?

A lot remains to be seen.

SEC

All I am saying is "follow the money" it never leads you astray.

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You are right about that. Too bad the original deal fell through. That was indeed a shame but its hard to sell professional baseball when you have to have "Faith Night" to get people in the stands and they are not buying beer. This cuts revenue way down.

SEC

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Hey Dave, Welcome back. Hope you are doing well. My time availability sucks now as it has over the last two years. Come say hello at a Saturday morning meet up some time.

As far as the stadium goes, I just want to see a new one and really do not care where Downtown it is built as long as it is built.

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Lets see what the mayor can do to persuade the banks this time to carry the paper for this.

SEC

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Here we go again with the Sounds stadium debate. I was intrigued with the idea of a baseball stadium south of KVB. The only way I would support this stadium in any location downtown would be if they stadium was functional on the street level with restaurants and such, that would still operate during the off season and on nights that no games were played. The original plan for the thermal site looked like something I could have supported but we all know we cant hold our breath when it comes to addressing the street on any project here in Nashville.

Also the article mentions that the thermal site is out of the question and that dean wants a public music venue there. This good be a good thing or could be a bad thing depending on the layout. I'm afraid they will plop down a more modern version of Starwood, but surely the Mayor has more sense than that.

Tennessean Link

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Aren't a minor league baseball stadium and an amphitheater essentially the same thing? I understand the difference, but surely this structure could be multipurpose.

I saw Dave Matthews Band at AutoZone park in Memphis(Redbird Stadium) and it was an awesome venue for a show. 15k seats plus field level standing, city views, it was great!

Hell, they could even install a retractable field to save the playing surface.

Better yet, the stadium could be oriented with a large hillside beyond the outfield wall. This could serve as the main seating area for shows(with the stage facing away from home plate) and could double as a $5 picnic blanket seating area on game days.

Edited by nashvillwill

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