KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Crews will break ground at some locations in the Old City on May 2, officially starting work on a new downtown Knoxville stadium. The first round of work will be to relocate water and sewer lines.
The section of Jackson Avenue near Hall of Fame Drive will be closed, between Patton and Florida Streets. A larger portion of Willow Street in the same area, between Patton and Kentucky streets, will also be closed. Georgia Street will also be closed, which connects to the closed portion of Willow Street.
Work will involve digging into areas previously paved over in the Old City. Many of the buildings in the area were built between 1870 and 1935, but the area dates all the way back to 1855 with the arrival of railroads there.
The stadium project is mainly overseen by Knoxville's Sports Authority Board which has seven members. Their backgrounds include experience as a bank executive, realty and in law firms.
The stadium is expected to be open in time for the 2025 baseball season. However, officials said the stadium could be ready in 2024 for concerts and public events.
Once the project is completed, Boyd Sports is expected to lease the stadium from the Sports Authority so it can operate games and run the stadium. The approved financial and construction agreements for the stadium in Feb. 2022.
Those agreements authorized the Sports Authority to issue $65 million in bonds, or debt, to pay for the construction of the downtown stadium. The City of Knoxville and Knox County are expected to pay around $240,000 annually for the first decade.