Mayor's office talks with state about new Sounds stadium - WSMV Channel 4

Mayor's office talks with state about new Sounds stadium

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Mayor Karl Dean is pushing a proposal that could lead to a new baseball stadium for the Nashville Sounds in the Sulphur Dell area near downtown.

The mayor's office said the city is taking the first step to explore acquiring land from the state for the baseball park.

Dean said at a Friday press conference that if the new baseball park happens, it would be at Sulphur Dell.

That site has long been at the center of speculation about possible replacements for the Sounds' current ballpark, Greer Stadium.

The cost for taxpayers, at this point, remains unclear, but the talk of a new start and a new stadium for Nashville's minor-league baseball team could bring new life to the historic spot near Bicentennial Mall.

"It's a booming area in Sulphur Dell and Germantown, and we really believe it's going to be the next Gulch," said Sounds General Manager Brad Tammen.

The mayor's office says he's had productive conversations with the Sounds and the state, but in a statement, a Dean representative says "this is still a work in progress" and "a new baseball stadium needs to be a public-private partnership that makes sense for Nashville taxpayers."

The $40 million ballpark could become the centerpiece of an $80 million development that would include a multi-family housing development.

Dean did not offer detail for financing the new project during Friday's press conference.

According to the newspaper report, plans also call for a city-built parking garage.

"We know we're early in this process, and we're patiently awaiting the city, and the state and the result of their future meetings, and at that time we'll hopefully move forward and take it to the next step," Tammen said.

The site is one of three cited in a feasibility study a few years ago. The deal would require the city to obtain 20 acres of land just south of Jefferson Street, including 13 acres that are currently state-owned.

"We think the idea is very interesting, and I'd say it's still very preliminary as well. But if it's something we can do a partnership on, we would try to do that. But there are a whole lot of steps between here and there," said Gov. Bill Haslam.

At Friday's press conference, the mayor was less certain on the timeline, saying an April 2015 finish may just be "best case" scenario.

There could soon be a land scramble for property sitting near the proposed project.

On Friday, planners announced a development called Luxus Germantown, which would be a $3 million project that will include eight new homes just a few blocks away from the Sulphur Dell site.

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