Smokies Park

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Smokies Park
Smokies Park National Map.jpg
Former names Sevierville/Sevier County Multi-Use Stadium (planning name)[1]
Location 3540 Line Drive
Kodak, TN 37764
Coordinates 35°59′20″N 83°36′16″W / 35.98889°N 83.60444°W / 35.98889; -83.60444Coordinates: 35°59′20″N 83°36′16″W / 35.98889°N 83.60444°W / 35.98889; -83.60444
Broke ground April 23, 1999[1]
Opened April 20, 2000 (2000-04-20)[1]
Owner Sevier County and the City of Sevierville[1]
Operator SPBC, LLC[1]
Surface Bermuda Grass
Construction cost $19.4 million[1]
($26.6 million in 2014 dollars[2])
Architect HNTB
BarberMcMurry
General contractor Denark–Smith[1]
Capacity 6,412
Field size Left Field: 330 feet
Center Field: 400 feet
Right Field: 330 feet
Tenants
Tennessee Smokies (SL) (2000–present)

Smokies Park is a baseball stadium located in Kodak, Tennessee, just east of Knoxville (exit 407 off Interstate 40) and adjacent to the tourist centers of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg. The park, which opened in 2000, has a capacity of 6,412. It is the home of the Tennessee Smokies of the Southern League. Smokies Park was constructed as a replacement facility for the since shuttered Bill Meyer Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee.[3]

Features[edit]

Three flag poles are erected behind the waterfall portion of the nature scene. Depending on the day, a white flag with a blue W may fly alongside the prerequisite state and American flags. Since 2007 the Smokies have been a Cubs affiliate and the "win" flag is one of many traditions that make Chicago's "Friendly Confines" the baseball shrine that it is. Just like at Wrigley Field, the Smokies copycat version flaps following victories by the home team.[1]

Just like the playing field, the grandstand is symmetrical and it extends well down the outfield lines, where stadium-style seats give way to bleachers with backs. All chair back seats contain cup holders and are painted dark green.[1]

For those within the confines of Smokies Park, 18 suites satisfy the desires of all who wish to watch the game from "up above." Each 300-square-foot suite holds 20 people and has a balcony with a dozen stadium-style seats. Suite dimensions are 20' deep by 13' wide.[1]

Party porches bookend the suites. Named Magnolia (first base) and Pine Tree (third base), each porch measures 33' deep by 28' wide (about 900 square feet) and has stadium seating for 26 people with 11 elevated patio chairs placed directly behind the two rows of regular seats. The porches are open-air but covered by the stadium's roof.[1]

A large high-definition video board excels at keeping fans informed and entertained from behind the berm in left field, where the main scoreboard is stationed. The 36' wide by 17' high HD-X LED video display was installed in 2008 and displays crisp player pictures and real-time stats. Beneath it is a 36' x 9' line score.[1]

Attendance Records[edit]

The Tennessee Smokies beat the Chattanooga Lookouts 10–7 on April 20, 2000 in front of 7,318 fans in the first game at the ballpark.[1] Smokies Park experienced its largest crowd ever of 7,655 on July 3, 2009 against the Huntsville Stars. The Smokies won an intense game 5–3 which included Hall of Fame manager Ryne Sandberg being ejected.[4] The previous attendance record was May 24, 2008 when John Smoltz, then of the Atlanta Braves, made a rehab appearance with their Double-A affiliate Mississippi Braves. News of his appearance drew a crowd of 7,381 to the ballpark as the Smokies won 3–2.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Knight, Graham (July 22, 2010). "Smokies Park - Tennessee Smokies". Baseball Pilgrimages. Retrieved September 24, 2011. 
  2. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  3. ^ "10 years at Smokies Park". Minor League Baseball. February 18, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  4. ^ Pollack, Brett (July 3, 2009). "Stars and Smokies Split Six-Game Set". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved February 23, 2014. 
  5. ^ Gates, Nick (May 25, 2008). "Reception Made Smoltz 'Feel Like Elvis'". Knoxville News Sentinel. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 

External links[edit]