Smokies Move Clears Big Hurdle
Last night in Knoxville, the city of Knoxville climbed the biggest hurdle they had left to open the door for the Tennessee Smokies baseball team to move to Knoxville. Tuesday night the Knoxville City Council voted 5-1 in favor of joining an interlocal agreement between them, the Knox County Commission and the Sports Authority. That agreement will allow the sports authority to issue $65 million in public taxpayer bonds to help pay for a new multi-use stadium near downtown Knoxville. 10 speakers asked for the board to postpone the vote till more people could make their voices heard, but that was voted down 5-3. Two council members abstained from the vote. So, the final approval for the construction of the stadium could be finalized early next year paving the way for construction to begin. Developers hope to have the facility built and ready for the Smokies to move by 2024. The Smokies had played in Knoxville till they moved to Sevier County in 1999. The new stadium would be located not far from the I-40 and Hall of Fame drive intersection.