May 31, 2022 - Sports

Sounds' stadium upgrades on the horizon

Officials meet before a Nashville Sounds Game.

Officials meet before a Nashville Sounds game. Photo: George Walker IV/The Tennessean/USA Today Network

The Nashville Sounds and the Metro Sports Authority are discussing capital improvements for the 7-year-old First Horizon Park.

  • Sports Authority executive director Monica Fawknotson said the first project up for consideration is $327,000 in seat upgrades.

Why it matters: There isn't a dedicated fund to pay for such improvements for the city-funded facility, Fawknotson tells Axios. That means if Metro Council approves the request, the funding will come out of the city's 4% reserve fund or be included in future general obligation bonds, which also pay for things like sidewalks and new schools.

State of play: First Horizon Park has been a resounding success in terms of attracting crowds and nearby development.

What she's saying: The agreement with the Sounds calls for an annual capital improvement plan from the team beginning in the seventh year after the ballpark's completion, Fawknotson says. This is the first such plan.

  • Their only request for 2023 was seat replacements for club seats.
  • The Sounds referred questions about the capital improvement budget to Fawknotson.

The intrigue: The financial impact of sports facilities is a salient issue in Nashville, as Mayor John Cooper's administration negotiates a financing plan for a new Titans stadium.

  • The city is also in the midst of talks to renovate the fairgrounds racetrack. Geodis Park, the country's largest soccer-specific stadium and home of Nashville SC, opened on the fairgrounds this month.
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