Residents "Sound Off" On New Nashville Ballpark - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Residents "Sound Off" On New Nashville Ballpark

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Plans for the new Sounds ballpark at Sulpher Dell are already rounding the bases.

"It's something very central and localized that's very good for the area," Historic Buena Vista Neighborhood Association President Mark Wright said.

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, area residents had their first opportunity to take a closer look at how the proposal will impact them.

"A lot of people are out of town. Of course it's a holiday weekend," Germantown Neighborhood Association President Robert Vaughan said. "So it's really difficult to gather support."

In addition to the new ballpark, plans also include a mixed use development with retail and condominiums and/or apartments.

"It's spurs that development," District 19 Councilwoman Erica Gilmore said about the ballpark's impact, "which improves the neighborhood, which creates jobs, more amenities and the things that people look for when they move into this area."

The North Nashville neighborhoods affected have never experienced this type of multi-million dollar investment.

"We have three big lots that have been empty for years," Wright recalls about his neighborhood's need for revitalization. "And we have vacant lots that just (don't) look very good for the area."

While the look and potential impact of the plan remain its biggest selling points, residents also learned their main concerns over traffic and parking are still being fleshed out.

"I'm concerned about them only putting in 1,000 parking spots when there's going to be 10,000 capacity seating (at the stadium). That's going to lead people to park where it's convenient to them," Vaughan said about the parking issues that could plague his Germantown neighborhood.

"A lot of the things are we'll study that," At-Large Councilman Charlie Tygard said. "We hope to get you an answer but nothing is concrete yet. So once again this is a concern of mine."

Tygard has been critical of the project's accelerated timeline that requires Council's approval by the end of the year.

However, this pitch made just three weeks ago is quickly gaining momentum while details and concerns are being still being considered.

"I think it's a reality now," Gilmore said. "It's more of a reality."

On Tuesday, Metro Council will discuss funding the city's $65 million portion of the deal to make it a reality. Mayor Dean imposed the end of the year deadline to have the new stadium ready in time for the 2015 season.


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