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The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
A newly introduced proposal would attempt to offset the additional cost of the Knoxville Smokies baseball stadium.
Inflation has caused the expected cost of the project to rise significantly, so the proposal would expand the Tax Increment Financing District. The new plan would move it to Harriet Tubman Street and Winona Street, adding several more blocks than planned in the beginning. It would also expand to East 5th Avenue and Summit Hill on the opposite side of the stadium.
Tax districts such as the one created for the new stadium allocate tax revenues generated by new developments and investments to help fund improvements and projects within that district.
“Any. New revenue that’s generated from this area, so that’ll be new property tax revenue because of new private investment, and this new property tax revenue is invested back into private infrastructure and public amenities in that community,” explained Stephanie Welch, Chief Economic Development Officer and Deputy to the Mayor.
Welch continued, “This development is important for the continued progress of our community, especially in the all-important 25 to 54-year-old demographic. We continue to lag behind our peers in retaining and attracting this age demographic, and we believe civic furniture like this will give young families more things to do, adding vibrancy to our community.”
Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon supports the proposal, saying that “the public benefits of this stadium must outweigh the costs, and we’re assuring that that’s in fact what’s happening.”
Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs also says that the new stadium and other new developments will bring new life to the community.
“Inflation and skyrocketing construction costs have forced us to look into other options. One way is to expand the TIF district, which will fund the stadium with revenue that would not otherwise be generated.”
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Tennessee Smokies owner and UT President Randy Boyd has also agreed to pay more money up front for the project, although he will not be paying more than the $46 million that was originally promised. Boyd already donated roughly half of the 14-acre building site to the city. Boyd Sports and the Tennessee Smokies will pay $1 million annually to lease the stadium.
The Knoxville-Knox County Sports Authority Board met in July to discuss a number of planned changes to the stadium, in an effort to lower the costs.
The mayor of Nashville is also attempting to strap taxpayers with a significant portion of the bill to build a new stadium for the Titans, claiming a poor contract and bad workmanship in the construction of the existing Nissan Stadium.
Taxpayers could end up footing nearly $1 billion worth of taxes to build the new stadium, which is being planned by the same architect that built the current stadium.
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com