Nashville faces key decision Monday

Government approval needed for potential Sounds stadiumSounds-logo

By Jason Arndt
Brewers Farm Report

Nashville could have earned an extension of its Player Development Contract with Milwaukee pending an approval of a new stadium by three governing bodies in Nashville November 11.

The Triple A affiliate struggled for nearly a decade in securing a new stadium to replace an aging Herschel Greer Stadium and drew some dissatisfaction from Brewers’ officials when both sides were negotiating a new PDC after the 2012 season.

After Milwaukee spent time exploring other Triple A options when its contract with Nashville expired, both sides were forced to extend due to no other available partnerships.

brewersBrewers General Manager Doug Melvin essentially told reporters at the time of the extension the franchise was “stuck” with the Sounds but made it known Greer Stadium needed to be replaced.

There were discussions of a new stadium when Milwaukee agreed with Nashville in 2005 after having the Indianapolis Indians as its Triple A affiliate from 2000-2004.

Brewers Assistant General Manager Gord Ash told MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy there was significant progress in stadium discussions since both sides partnered up in 2005.

“From what I understand, there seems to me much better cooperation between the various levels of government this time than there was the last, and the new Sounds ownership group led by Frank Ward has done a tremendous job in

Greer Stadium's Iconic guitar-shaped scoreboard. The stadium has been home to the Sounds since 1978.

Greer Stadium’s Iconic guitar-shaped scoreboard. The stadium has been home to the Sounds since 1978.

ensuring that they took it step by step,” Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash said. “There is a much different tone to this discussion than there was seven or eight years ago.”

Indianapolis agreed to sever ties with Milwaukee after 2004 due to the franchise’s inability to provide the Indians with top prospects.

Consequently, Indianapolis established a PDC with Pittsburgh while Milwaukee was assigned to Nashville as part of a working agreement due to no viable options at the time of its split with the Indians.

Sulphur Dell

Nashville’s new stadium will be at the sight of the old Sulphur Dell stadium which was demolished in 1969.

The location was suggested by Nashville’s government officials due to the municipality’s ownership of the land and cost effectiveness to the Sounds’ economic future.

Mayor Karl Dean announced the Sulphur Dell location will be be home to the Sounds new stadium in an August council meeting and estimated the cost of construction will be $80 million.

Financial comparisons between the prospective stadium and Greer Stadium comes with a wide margin as Greer Stadium is valued at nearly $4 million.

The City of Nashville is looking at the possible new Sounds stadium as the anchor of an urban redevelopment project including residential projects and a parking garage.

“We have a lot of private investors going to do housing, commercial development, mixed use development and it’s going to bring a spark to the area that we need, north of downtown and south of Jefferson Street. That’s exactly what we need,” Metro Planning Commission member Jerry Maynard said.

Nashville’s plan for the new stadium drew some public support at a Metro Planning Commission Public Hearing October 23.

“Imagine if you will, Greer Stadium is as old as the Municipal Auditorium. Would the Predators have that much success at the Municipal Auditorium? I don’t think so,” Sounds season ticket holder Jim Jennings said.

Despite a highly promising look at the future of Nashville baseball, some city officials will be exercising caution as it goes to the final push Monday.

Historically, there were plans in place for a new stadium at different points since 2005 but fell apart at the last minute.

Approval will need to come from the Metro Council, Sports Authority and the state Building Commission.

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