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Proposed downtown stadium projected to cost another $15.5 million more than expected

The new plan's price increase will not all be carried by taxpayers.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — At the joint meeting between the Knox County Commission, the Knoxville City Council, and the Sports Authority, the Sports Authority unveiled new figures on how much taxpayers would be expected to pay for the proposed stadium.

Under the updated proposal, $74.5 million will come from taxpayers and public funds with a $7.2 million contingency, almost $10 million more than the original proposal of $65 million. 

Representatives of the city and county said those numbers changed because the design work moved from a conceptual phase to a schematic design and because the updated design plans to add 22,000 square feet of shops facing outwards on Jackson Ave. 

However, the annual debt servicing for taxpayers would be lower, dropping from $4.5 million annually to $3.2 million. The city and county commissioned a joint economic study. Based on those values, the entities expect to earn more in sales tax revenue than previously thought.

Smokies' owner Randy Boyd said he will bring more than $100 million in private development to the area surrounding the stadium, to be developed concurrently with the stadium.

Under the proposal, the city and county will pay off the $74.5 million through $1 million in yearly rent from the Smokies, sales tax revenues, and a yearly $750,000 payment in lieu of tax, or PILOT. 

The joint economic forecast said it expected the new downtown stadium to bring in $971,000 in sales tax revenue. 

Neither Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon nor Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs have signed off on the new proposal.

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