NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Nashville Sounds played their last home game of the season Thursday night. It concluded the team's first season at the new First Tennessee Park.
The Sounds had a losing season, but the team considered its first year at the new ballpark a success.
"We're not here to meet people's expectations, we're here to exceed them," explained Sounds General Manager and COO Garry Arthur.
Attendance numbers for the first season at the new ballpark showed fans did come out in large numbers to see the team.
"We're seeing people who have really not come to Sounds games, get into the game. I mean, they're really up for the cheering. It's like they've adopted a brand-new team," said Arthur.
The team has averaged 7,952 fans per game this season. During the final year at Greer Stadium the average was 4,909 attendees. The total attendance for this season will be close to 575,000 fans. There were 19 sell-out games.
The nearly-doubled attendance numbers at First Tennessee Park ranked well in Triple-A baseball. In 2014 the Sounds ranked 27 out of the 30 Triple-A teams. This season the team moved up to have the tenth best attendance in the league.
First Tennessee Park was a $47 million project that brough baseball back to the downtown area. Arthur said the attendance numbers show the ballpark has become a destination.
"It's a meeting place. I'm not sure everybody out at the Bandbox knows the score of the game, but that's ok," said Arthur.
The General Manager recalled a night in May when he was on the concourse and young woman was on her cell phone.
"And I overheard her say to the people, I'm not coming down to Broadway tonight, I'm staying right here, because this is the place to be now," Arthur said with a smile.
The team has some changes planned for next season.
"We are going to tweek a number of things in the kids play zone area. We're going to do some things with the pit out there, the four-tops. And we have a few other suprices we'll announce along the way," Arthur explained.
The team will also have day games during the week next season. There will be six games that start at noon for people who work downtown, and for those who typically work at night and cannot attend games at the normal start time.