Sounds still in default of Greer Stadium lease

Friday, May 2, 2008 at 3:21am

The Nashville Sounds organization is still in default of its Greer Stadium lease because certain aspects of the 31-year-old ballpark are not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, according Metro’s law director.

The letter, sent to the team by Law Director Sue Cain on April 22, states that the Sounds still have a number of upgrades to make at the ballpark before they are in ADA compliance. Although the team does not have to be fully ADA compliant by a certain date, it does have to submit a plan to do so soon.

The Sounds took a step toward ADA compliance — and toward solving a beef with the team’s major league affiliate, the Milwaukee Brewers — when it recently constructed a $1 million project for new home and visitor locker rooms.

The new locker room facility, located apart from Greer Stadium behind the outfield wall, wasn’t complete until Thursday. Until then, Sounds players were forced to change and prepare for games at LP Field and then take a bus to the ballpark.

“As you are, by your own admission, in violation of the laws of the United States, the Metropolitan Government is providing you with further notice of your continuing material default of the lease,” Cain wrote in the letter.

The team’s Greer Stadium lease expires at the end of the year. The Sounds own an option to extend the lease, but must first be in ADA compliance so they are not in default of their lease, before they can do so.

The Sounds must give 180 days notice about their intentions to renew the lease, which would give the team a July 1 deadline before submitting its plan to become ADA compliant.

“It is the desire of the Metropolitan Government to continue to have the Sounds play baseball in Nashville,” Cain’s letter reads, “and to the extent it is reasonable to do so, will work cooperatively with you should you choose to correct this default in conformance with the terms of the lease.”

Sounds General Manager Glenn Yaeger claims the team has been responsive in becoming ADA compliant and would develop a plan to complete its remaining issues — like the height of concession stands, the number of wheelchair ramps and rails on certain walkways throughout the stadium.

Renewing the Greer Stadium lease is another chapter in what has become a contentious back-and-forth between the Sounds and Metro.

Earlier this week, the team’s new proposed legislation to help with the funding of a possible downtown ballpark passed a state Senate subcommittee. This angered Mayor Karl Dean, who says he asked the team not to press forward with the legislation until it had private financing in place.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Thelma Harper (D-Nashville), would allow the team to use the sales tax generated by the new ballpark and its surrounding development to pay back the debt on construction of the stadium.

Metro’s legislative lobbyist Eddie Davidson said the team pushing ahead with the legislation was an act of bad faith and effectively cut off communication between the city and the Sounds on a possible new ballpark.

Yaeger said the team needs to have all its revenue streams, including public money, in place before it receives private financing.

Filed under: City News
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By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 7:00

They had the deal and they couldn't afford or didn't want to do their end of it.Even their partners bailed out which cost them millions.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

idgaf, reach down deep in your pockets and help them out, come on, be a sport! LOL!

By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 7:00

No "minor" league baseball fan need to fret. The Davidson County taxpayers will be asked to bail the Sounds out. The city council will vote the money to repay the loans and build them a stadium of their choosing...As the working class becomes more impoverised the city council will also vote for a discount for all those baseball fans making less than $100,000 dollars a year. This will allow the working class to attend games for .50 cents. If they show their ticket stub to the bus driver they can ride the bus home for a nickel.

By: shinestx on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Actually, Metro can start proceedings to take over the team if they are in default. I wouldn't be surprised if our (shifty lawyer) mayor is planning to do just that.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I can't wait for "Muzzle Frank Brown" day at Greer Stadium. If you show your pay stub, and make less than $100K, you get a free shot at putting a spiked muzzle on Frank.Tom T Hall will be singing after the game.

By: OneTimer on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Id. So glad you commented on this story. You mentioned money in your post. That is quite odd for you.

By: JeffF on 12/31/69 at 7:00

maybe they can tax tourists to pay for the stadium since it apparently is a limitless post of money and can pay for billions of dollars in projects. Tourists will line up at the Super 8 in Hermitage for the privilege of paying for still yet another building in downtown.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 7:00

They probably will Jeff, just like you'll line up to bitch and whine. It's a vicious circle.

By: JeffF on 12/31/69 at 7:00

what bar do you own?

By: dnewton on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Sometimes this ADA is taken a little too far. Governments get a pass on the most expensive interpretations ADA and most of the activity in this area in my opinion is voluntary. The law demands reasonable accomodation. You don't see ADA access to control towers for instance. You dont have to accomodate with elevators unless the structure is over three stories and there is substantial square footage on that upper floor. Older buildings, before the law, are exempt even though a lot of governments try to comply anyway. I think that if Greer Stadium is more than twenty years old, it is technically exempt.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Why, do you want some beer with your whine?

By: JeffF on 12/31/69 at 7:00

just trying to find out which honky tonks/tourist traps participate in the daily discussions here. Personally I would like to know which of you are in it for the perpetual "capital projects free ride". Wonder why the bar owners in the rest of Metro don't ask for the pork like the downtown oinkers do? Are they smarter or just better business people?

By: JeffF on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Downtown is important, give me more stuff

By: BigPapa on 12/31/69 at 7:00

gdiafAnytime someone posts a legitimate concern over the use of tax money to pay for some crazy boondoogle project all you do is say they are "whining". I don't see why, if there is a legitimate gripe about the way the city is spending money you'd say that. Glenn Yeager and The Sounds are going to be gone soon and Mr. Freeman's new baseball team will move into a downtown ball park around Dean's second administration.

By: producer2 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Yes, but this article is about being ADA complient and does not speak of any use of tax money. In fact it specifys that the Mayor does not want to use tax money. Just because 3 people voted to send a bill furhter up the food chain does not make it law. Yeager and Company should learn from Jim Croce, you don't tug on Supermans cape, you don't spit into the wind, you don't poke the cap of the old lone ranger and you certainly don't mess with City Hall!

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Give me a break papa, it's the same people every day bitching about the same thing. Wanna make a difference, stop posting and get off your ass and do something. Jeez...

By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Gdiafante, speaking of getting off your ass,are you physically capable of doing the same? Is it possible that you are on the dole? I ask that because you seem to be very liberal with other peoples money, I just wondered if I were paying some portion of your income.