Nashville Sounds owner discusses plans for new stadium - WSMV Channel 4

Nashville Sounds owner discusses plans for new stadium

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Nashville Sounds owner Frank Ward Nashville Sounds owner Frank Ward
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The Metro Council has signed off on ballpark plans for a second time without adding any more requirements for the team. But there are still questions about the financial burden and the rush to get this project done so quickly.

Audits show the Nashville Sounds franchise has lost money in recent years, as much as $1 million annually, but owner Frank Ward believes a move from Greer Stadium in south Nashville would help fix the problem.

"There will be better parking. There's no parking here. The egress into the area is very difficult. The new facility will not have those problems. It's much closer to downtown," Ward said.

If approved, the new ballpark would be a double-play for Ward.

Metro leaders are one vote away from funding a $65 million city-owned stadium at Sulphur Dell in north Nashville.

At the same time, Ward says he's ready to move forward with a multi-million dollar private development right next door.

"When I spend the money, I'm really saying I'm committed to do something with it. I'm not going to spend that sort of money and keep it vacant for the next 30 years,' Ward said.

But if Sulphur Dell is transformed into a new 10,000-seat ballpark, will the Sounds stick around?

Ward says yes. The team has a contract to stay through at least 2020, but the team just might not remain a Milwaukee Brewers affiliate.

"[The Brewers] are thrilled with the concept. I mean, they have had to suffer in this place for a long time," Ward said.

As part of the deal, the Sounds will pay a $700,000 lease on the new park. Ward says if all goes to plan, his private development would be done in time for the opening pitch of the 2015 season in the new stadium.

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