A Metro-commissioned study that evaluated sites for a potential new Nashville Sounds stadium will highlight three ideal locations, according to a source familiar with the report, which the Mayor’s Office will release Thursday.
The three sites are: an unspecified location on the east bank of the Cumberland River; property northeast of the Tennessee State Capitol that served as home to the long-demolished Sulphur Dell ballpark; and land in the north Gulch at 11th and Charlotte avenues where the temporary Greyhound bus station is located.
Metro Finance Director Rich Riebeling neither confirmed nor denied the report’s findings when contacted by The City Paper, but said it’s his understanding the study would come out Thursday.
“The report will speak for itself,” Riebeling said.
Members of Dean’s administration have called the report a necessary initial phase in weighing whether to assist Sounds owners in building a new downtown stadium to replace outdated Greer Stadium on Chestnut Street near Eighth Avenue South.
“That’s the first step — to determine what’s the right location or locations to build a baseball stadium, and then there’s lots of steps after that,” Riebeling said Wednesday. “There’s details on financing. There’s working out an agreement with the Sounds.
“I’m sure every site has unique issues that will have to be worked through,” he added. “It’s a long process from here, but this is a good first step.”
The site feasibility study is the product of Kansas City-based Populous Inc., the world’s dominant sports architecture firm, which Metro hired for $157,000. In all, the firm, working in conjunction with Metro, explored six different locations in Davidson County.
Noticeably absent among the study’s recommendations is the 11-acre former thermal plant location off Lower Broadway on the west bank of the Cumberland.
The Sounds’ former ownership group had coveted the old thermal site for a new stadium, but a deal fell apart during then-Mayor Bill Purcell’s tenure. Current Sounds owners, MFP Baseball, prefer this same site.
The City Paper will have more details after the report is officially released.