Smokies Stadium

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Smokies Stadium
SmokiesPark.jpg
Former names Sevierville/Sevier County Multi-Use Stadium (planning name), Smokies Park[1]
Location 3540 Line Drive
Kodak, Tennessee, United States
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
Owner Sevier County and the City of Sevierville[1]
Operator SPBC, LLC[1]
Capacity 6,412[2]
Record attendance 7,958 (May 13, 2017; Tennessee Smokies vs. Montgomery Biscuits)[3]
Field size Left Field: 330 feet (100 m)
Center Field: 400 feet (120 m)
Right Field: 320 feet (98 m)[4]
Surface Bermuda Grass
Construction
Broke ground April 23, 1999[1]
Opened April 20, 2000 (2000-04-20)[1]
Construction cost $19.4 million[1]
($27 million in 2016 dollars[5])
Architect HNTB
BarberMcMurry
General contractor Denark–Smith[1]
Tenants
Tennessee Smokies (SL) (2000–present)

Smokies Stadium (formerly known as Smokies Park) is a baseball stadium located in Kodak, Tennessee, just east of Knoxville 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.[6]

Features[edit]

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]

The park has 18 suites located above the seating bowl. Each 300-square-foot suite holds 20 people and has a balcony with a dozen stadium-style seats. Suite dimensions are 20 feet deep by 13 feet wide.[1]

Party porches bookend the suites. Copper Cellar Clubhouse (first base) and Davey Crockett Porch (third base), each porch measures 33 feet deep by 28 feet 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] Another porch, Calhoun's at the Yard completed in 2014, is located in left field. Pioneer Porch, added in 2015, is a smaller porch in right field suitable for group outings.

A game at Smokies Park in 2009

The park's scoreboard, stationed behind the left field berm, features a large high-definition video board. The 36-foot wide by 17-foot high HD-X LED video display was installed in 2008 and displays crisp player pictures and real-time stats. Beneath it is a 36-foot by 9-foot broad which displays the line score.[1]

In the right field corner of the ballpark is "Homer's Playland", named after the Smokies' newest mascot, Homer the Hound. The area consists of a slide, obstacle course, 2 moon bounces (big and small), a Homerun Challenge, Speed Pitch, and a prize wheel. Parents can purchase a single ticket for one attraction or buy a wristband and get unlimited slide, both moon bounces, and obstacle course until the top of the eighth inning when the Playland closes.

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]

Attendance records[edit]

The ballpark's single-game attendance record was set on May 13, 2017, when 7,958 people watched the Smokies play the Montgomery Biscuits on Star Wars Night.[3]

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] On May 24, 2008, 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.[7] Smokies Park experienced a then record breaking crowd of 7,655 on July 3, 2009, against the Huntsville Stars. The Smokies won the intense game, 5–3, which included Hall of Fame manager Ryne Sandberg being ejected.[8]

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. ^ Reichard, Kevin (1 May 2015). "Smokies Park / Tennessee Smokies". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "The Largest Crowd in Smokies Stadium History Shows Up for Star Wars Night". Minor League Baseball. May 13, 2017. Retrieved July 6, 2017. 
  4. ^ "2017 Tennessee Smokies Media Guide" (PDF). Minor League Baseball. 2017. p. 3. Retrieved July 6, 2017. 
  5. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2017. 
  6. ^ "10 years at Smokies Park". Minor League Baseball. February 18, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  7. ^ Gates, Nick (May 25, 2008). "Reception Made Smoltz 'Feel Like Elvis'". Knoxville News Sentinel. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  8. ^ Pollack, Brett (July 3, 2009). "Stars and Smokies Split Six-Game Set". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved February 23, 2014. 

External links[edit]