In a report from Matthew Lane of the Kingsport Times-News, the City of Kingsport has begun investigating the possibility of building a brand new stadium for the Kingsport Mets at Brickyard Park. Brickyard Park has been designated by the city as an area for private development, and it is part of the city’s One Kingsport initiative, which is designed to creative a more beneficial economic environment while improving the resident’s quality of life.
Like most publicly funded ballparks, this is being sold to be more than just a ballpark. As Chris McCartt, assistant city manager for administration, explained, “The facility will be much more than just a baseball stadium. If we’re only playing baseball there, we’re not achieving the goal we’ve been tasked with.” To that end, the ballpark is being sold as a venue to hold not just minor league games, but also concerts, festivals, and local baseball games.
In order to better judge the viability of the project, Kingsport awarded Sterling Project Development of New York (“SPD”) a $95,000 contract to conduct a feasibility study. Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon is a partner in SPD.
After the feasibility study has been conducted, SPD will be providing the city with the projected cost of the stadium, initial sketches of the stadium, and some of the proposed infrastructure needed to accommodate the new stadium. Once this study is completed, the hope is Kingsport would then have the ability to ” grant funding, public/private partnerships and talks with CSX about building a pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks.