Tell me if you’ve heard this one before, the Nashville Sounds are on the verge of getting a new stadium…………
The Tennessean has an article up about the Sounds possibly getting a new stadium at the old Sulphur Dell site.
The stadium would be $40 million out of an $80 million project. If it “sounds” too good to be true it may be. I would love for this to work out and help revive an area of Nashville that needs it, but I still have my doubts.
A few weeks ago, I was cleaning out some papers from when I was a kid and found a program back in 1999 when I went to a Sounds game. What was the main article featured? A new stadium proposal for the Sounds…….
Sulpur Dell hosted baseball in Nashville since the 1880’s so a return to the area would be really nostalgic and I’m all for it.
The Sounds however, have a bad history of trying to get a new location. Back in 2007, they were set to build on the riverfront, but Mayor Bill Purcell couldn’t get a deal done with Sounds ownership. There was another start up in 2011 about possible locations, but nothing firm was ever done. The Brewers have kept renewing the contract with Nashville for the last few years. Why? I have no idea. Maybe the plane flight time is reasonable and no major markets have opened up the last few years?
I’m a huge autograph junkie and in passing, I’ve asked the Sounds and visiting teams about playing in Nashville. The consensus: Beautiful city, putrid stadium. A few years ago, new ownership put a few mill into the stadium by adding a much needed clubhouse in the outfield, replacing some seats, and new paint.
The Scoreboard is the feature when attending a game. There is nothing like it in all the other stadiums, so if they do build a new one soon, the guitar has to come. But it needs to work……. The ownership allowed the stadium to fall into disrepair and that included the scoreboard. If the scoreboard is working at a game, half the lights are out. If there are graphics, it’s old school 1980’s. There is zero capability for any video, photos, or media of any kind. I’m guessing $40 million would allow some type of modern technology into the stadium.
The past few years, i’ve tried to make at least one game a series and over the years I’ve made a checklist of items that need to happen. Here are my top 4.
1. New stadium (obviously) I recently went to the Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville, KY. My goodness that stadium was beautiful and everything Greer Stadium is not. Beautiful facade, great location, a nice players clubhouse, wide concourses, seating all the way around the field, a working scoreboard, mph sign, etc……
2. Free parking. Currently $5 to park behind the stadium. $5 bucks? I park along the street next door and walk about the same distance for free. I’ll take free any day.
3. Fireworks. They have them every Friday and Saturday night. Is this a tad overkill? In my opinion yes, but if it helps to draw a larger crowd, i’m all for it.
4. Give away tickets…….gasp…….what a crazy concept that is. Back in the Sounds heyday, they would give away tickets to businesses and local areas to help bring people to the ballpark. They are struggling to fill just half every game. Why not give the tickets away to put butts in seats? You’re probably gonna get $5 from them in parking and at least $5 a person worth of food/drinks/store items bought. This makes too much sense, but what do I know?
So if a Sounds rep reads this, I’ll gladly start working their PR for them asap. Until then, I’ll believe a new ballpark when I see it.
I’ll leave you with a concept drawing that was probably done in the 90’s that looks really cool, except for the fact it never came to fruition.