Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs and Tennessee Smokies Owner Randy Boyd agree that the originally approved plan for the funding of an East Knoxville multi-use stadium will not change.
An acceptable final Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) for construction of the publicly-owned multi-use stadium translates to an overall project cost of almost $114 million. Despite inflation and record-high construction costs, the Sports Authority will be asked to issue bonds within the parameters that have been approved by both City Council and County Commission – issuance of $65 million in bonds.
Additionally, Randy Boyd has agreed to contribute funds needed to pay for the cost increases over the previously approved funding plan. In total, Boyd has committed more than $30 million to the project, will make lease payments of $1 million annually, and will cover any costs overruns beyond the stadium GMP.
He has also re-affirmed his commitment to provide up to $20 million in subordinated TIF funding to be repaid through new revenue in the Tax Increment Financing district.
Construction is ready to move forward.
“The key takeaway for Knox County citizens is that the City and County’s financing plan hasn’t changed, and it won’t, even though the price of the stadium has gone up,” Mayor Jacobs said. “Every proposed construction project from homes to commercial development is more expensive now than last year because of construction costs, interest and inflation; that doesn’t change anything for us, even though the Stadium project has also felt those impacts.”
Jacobs further noted, “Hotel/motel tax collections – which are what we will use to finance our costs – are 50% higher now than when the stadium and its financing were initially introduced, so the County is still in a strong fiscal position to move forward with this project.”
Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon also emphasized the careful stewardship of tax dollars. She thanked Boyd for his community-mindedness and called the partnership “a perfect example of public-private collaboration to benefit and build up the community.”
“The public stadium will be the catalyst for hundreds of millions of dollars in new private investment, which will in turn grow our local economy and create jobs,” Mayor Kincannon said. “Specifically, this will create new opportunities for wealth-building in East Knoxville. And while the stadium will be a great new public amenity in a part of the city where disinvestment has occurred for far too long, the many new events – professional baseball, soccer, outdoor concerts and much more – will also enhance our quality of life for all of Knoxville.”
“This is a very exciting time for our community, and we are happy to be collaborating with the leaders of our city and county to make this important project a reality,” Boyd said. “We are looking forward to 2025 when we will be playing Smokies baseball and hosting many other amazing events at the beautiful new stadium.”
An independent analysis projected the stadium’s total economic impact to bring in $480 million over the next 30 years and create 3,000 jobs between construction and stadium operations, with more than 400 of those becoming full-time.
All parties will be announcing an official groundbreaking ceremony this spring.