The first round of work related to construction of an $80 million publicly-owned multi-use stadium just east of the Old City will begin in May. Anticipate closures on parts of three streets to accommodate the initial utility upgrade work.
Starting on May 2, contractor crews will begin a project to relocate water and sanitary sewer lines, and these streets will be closed:
- Jackson Avenue, between Patton and Florida streets
- Willow Avenue, between Patton and Kentucky streets
- Georgia Street, south of Willow Avenue
The stadium – supported by a $13.5 million state economic development grant and a roughly $1 million annual lease paid by the Tennessee Smokies – is scheduled to open in time for the 2025 baseball season, though the stadium may possibly be ready in 2024 to host concerts, festivals or other public events. The stadium is expected to host hundreds of events each year – not just professional baseball games and soccer matches.
The total economic impact of the publicly-owned stadium and surrounding private development in East Knoxville is projected to be nearly $480 million over 30 years. More than 400 full-time jobs are expected to be created.
The City and Knox County’s anticipated payment toward the stadium debt would be about $240,000 for each government annually for the first 10 years. At that point, according to an independent economic impact analysis, the project has the potential to pay for itself.