Knoxville city leaders recently announced the new multi-use stadium that will host Tennessee Smokies games and other events in the city is now estimated to cost $114 million – up from the project’s original estimate of $65 million.
According to the city, the inflated final guaranteed maximum price (GMP) for the stadium is due in part to “inflation and record-high construction costs.”
The price will not affect the initially approved plan for the funding of the stadium, which includes the issuance of $65 million in bonds and a $13.5 million economic development grant from the state, the city noted.
Tennessee Smokies Owner and president of the University of Tennessee System Randy Boyd agreed to “contribute funds needed to pay for the cost increases over the previously approved funding plan” in addition to “any costs overruns beyond the stadium GMP.”
“This is a very exciting time for our community, and we are happy to be collaborating with the leaders of our city and county to make this important project a reality,” Boyd said in a statement. “We are looking forward to 2025 when we will be playing Smokies baseball and hosting many other amazing events at the beautiful new stadium.”
Despite the inflated price tag, Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon said she believes the stadium will “create new opportunities for wealth-building in East Knoxville.”
“The public stadium will be the catalyst for hundreds of millions of dollars in new private investment, which will in turn grow our local economy and create jobs,” Kincannon added.
The Knox County Sports Authority Board approved the spending plan for the new stadium at its meeting on Tuesday.
Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs added that Knox County is “still in a strong fiscal position to move forward with this project,” citing a 50 percent increase of hotel/motel tax collection – which will be used to finance the stadium’s debt from the city and county.
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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Smokies Stadium” by Swiderfanclub. CC BY-SA 3.0.
6 Thoughts to “New Price of Tennessee Smokies Stadium in Knoxville Inflates to $114 Million”
through the bums out. Pun intended.
Boyd originally when asked about funding the stadium himself as he could afford to do so said it was not economically viable. He then stated that he would provide low interest loans to cover the cost increases (AKA graft). The latest story in this boondoggle is that he is going to take 30-40 million of his own money and give it away so he can have his playground in the middle of Knoxville? This project was destined for failure before it began. The public will be left holding the proverbial bag. Let this be a battle cry for a more informed electorate on election day.
Just think what the actual final price of the new “first class” Titans stadium is going to be.
This stuff is so crazy I am having trouble believing what I read.
On the other hand I can believe just about anything in Tennessee these days what with Lee’s ridiculous toll road plans.
Yes , it is only tax payer money. Let the costs rise. We will never know how much this will actually cost county taxpayers. I am extremely disappointed in our county mayor.
I have mixed feelings on public financing of sports venues. First, I love baseball, especially minor league baseball where games are affordable and players show enthusiasm and respect for the game. But I also know from living in other areas that public stadiums are rarely paid for before they are deemed obsolete. Either a new stadium is demanded, or extensive modifications proposed or, on the other hand, the team threatens to relocate. Related, again from experiences elsewhere, MLB decided to downsize the minor league system. Teams like Fresno, with a rather new state of the art stadium, went from Class AAA to single A level. Teams like the Charlotte Stone Crabs were eliminated. So today, in Port Charlotte a relatively new and remodeled stadium is vacant other than 6 seeks of Tampa Ray Grapefruit League training. What assurances do the local taxpayers have here un funding this stadium?
Every Elected Official that supported this boondoggle needs to be replaced. If you are unable to understand the problem with a project that nearly doubles in price before it even begins, you are unfit for public office. Allowing this level of political graft to stand will ensure the public will never be told the truth again.