Sounds, Franklin talk ballpark

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 at 1:58am

The Nashville Sounds minor league baseball team and the City of Franklin have begun what a city official there called “very, very informal” conversations about moving the Sounds to affluent Williamson County.

Franklin Mayor Tom Miller told The City Paper Tuesday he has met twice with Sounds General Manager Glen Yaeger about the idea of Nashville’s baseball team moving its operations to his city.

“I have said all along if the Sounds called I would answer the phone,” Miller said. “And, I have answered the phone.”

Miller said he had met with Yaeger twice to discuss the idea, though called those conversations “very, very informal.” He added no dollar amount had been discussed, adding there was some inherent skepticism about the idea of bringing a professional sports facility to town.

“It’s really too early to tell,” Miller continued. “Like the general public, I have heard the stories about sports facilities coming in and costing hundreds of millions of dollars. …I think they (the Sounds) are exploring every option. If I were them, I would be talking to every suburban city around Nashville.”

Last week, Yaeger told The City Paper that Miller had not contacted him “specifically about building a ballpark in Franklin.”

“[Miller] made a very public statement about two months ago where he said if the Sounds call us, he’d answer the phone,” Yaeger said. “And, at that time, I called him and reiterated exactly what our position is. And that is that we’re going to kind of hunker down here for the next couple months, finish out the season, see what happens [with the Metro] elections and try to get something downtown — because that’s our preference, and if something doesn’t happen, then we will look to the surrounding counties as a viable option.”

One possible development synergy the Sounds could capitalize on in Franklin, according to sources, is available land off the McEwen Drive interchange at Interstate 65 near the headquarters for Nissan North America, Inc. in the Cool Springs area.

“My assumption and nobody has told me any differently, that a venue like a sports facility would need to be on the Interstate 65 corridor and near an interchange,” Miller said. “There is vacant land near the vicinity of the McEwen interchange. That would meet my lay person’s criteria.”

The Nashville Post Web site reported yesterday architectural firm HOK has sued the Sounds for not compensating the company for the work it did for the downtown ballpark project between the baseball team, Metro and Baltimore developer Struever Bros., Eccles & Rouse that collapsed this April. The company is seeking $723,862 plus $78,954 interest.

Filed under: Sports
By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Great news

By: JDG on 12/31/69 at 6:00

If tom miller is involved, this can't be good for anyone but him. tom, haven't you already p*ssed away enough taxpayer money?

By: Wrvu73 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Take a long hard look at the Charlotte Knights and how attendance fell when they moved to Rock Hill, SC. The city is now being pressured to build them a new downtown ballpark to save the franchise for Charlotte.Wrvu73

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

The Tennessean is reporting that both Clement and Dean are open to discussions on the ballpark being built on the thermal site. They said they will be open minded about it. I'm glad it's not completely dead, but Yeager has to do his part.

By: theplantsman on 12/31/69 at 6:00

The idea of the Alan Gordon’s Sounds relocating to Franklin, Tennessee “sounds” like a match made in hell that they both deserve. Let the Williamson County taxpayers finally get a money pit they deserve; better them then us. More so, the Sounds relocating to Franklin would not affect traffic on either side of I-65.

By: caholt on 12/31/69 at 6:00

What a great idea. Let Williamson County take over the upkeep for a dying sport and leave our water front property to Nashvillians.

By: BigPapa on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Yeah! Don't let the door hit ya!ba-bye.Seriously you don't think the good people of Fraaaaahhhklin are going to spend money on this do you? They spend their money on things like schools, parks, side walks, etc.. Nashville is where the money gets wasted on stuff like Yeager and The Sounds.

By: serr8d on 12/31/69 at 6:00

My opinion has always been to move the Sounds to the Fairgrounds, where we have a failing, fading, constant, worrisome burden. That neighborhood is rapidly changing to barrio, and needs an injection of...something to bring it back.

By: Time for Truth on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Am I the only one to notice that Miller and Yaeger resemble each other?Baseball is hardly a "dying sport". But out in soocer-mom land, the Sounds won't draw the kind of attendance they would downtown on either side of the river. Not to mention the walk-in tourist trade. I don't know whether to be happy that the Sounds won't be playing in a creaky rusting dump or sad that I'll have to make the drive to Franklin to watch games (and probably pay more, which would have been more palatable downtown).Plant, with games starting during the end of rush hour, how can you be certain there won't be an affect on outbound traffic?Caholt, the developers looking at the Thermal property are prone to build big towers that will hide the river from Nashvillians.I'm sure some anti-downtown ballpark poster will bring up the Knoxville club moving to Sevierville and how well they are doing. But Sevierville is the gateway to the Smokies, with an endless stream of tourists driving by the stadium. I doubt there is a thriving "McMansion Tour" business in Williamson County. If Yaeger blows this one, or if it turns out to be a bad idea (and it will), Yaeger needs to be up in the stands selling peanuts and not running the ballclub.

By: Time for Truth on 12/31/69 at 6:00

'soccer mom' oops

By: Time for Truth on 12/31/69 at 6:00

'effect' not 'affect'. They should have put an 'edit' link with the 'delete' link for sloppy proofreading (and I'm certainly not the only one here guilty of that!)

By: Time for Truth on 12/31/69 at 6:00

serr8d, your idea has merit. I certainly like it better than them going to Franklin. Razing Greer and rebuilding there also has merit but they don't have as much land to work with. Realistically in either of those locations they would draw less people-almost no tourists- and could build a smaller stadium than they would downtown. The other question is where would the State Fair go? Maybe to Wilson County, where they already outdraw the State Fair?In a perfect world, they would, and could, build where Phillips Metals is now. They could even share the parking lot with the Titans since their seasons don't overlap and the Sounds would only need the south corner. But it's not a perfect world.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Time for Truth, Phillips Metals would be an excellent spot, but the seasons do overlap, Titans have already hosted a preseason game. I'm not sure when the Sounds season ends, so maybe they don't overlap too much.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I just checked and the regular season this year ends 9/3/07, then you have playoffs so there is some overlap.

By: theplantsman on 12/31/69 at 6:00

When I lived in Belmont-Waverly I never noticed traffic jams on I-65 caused by the attendees coming to or going from the Greer. Chestnut Street may have been crowded because the problem with the Greer is the poor accessibility to the interstate. Nonetheless, let those that live in the residential area surrounding the Franklin Sounds enjoy the fireworks as they try to enjoying their outdoors. When I want to watch baseball I watch major leaguers such as the Reds, Braves or Yankees, otherwise, I had just as soon watch high school or collage players as watch “wannabe” minor leaguers.

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

The real business deal for Yeager is to get together with Vanderbilt who wants to expand their park and do a deal with them.Heard him on an interview show and he sounds like a spoiled kid repeating over and over again we want the park downtown.If he had two nickels to rub together they would be building it already. He thinks we owe him a ballpark.See where a bank grabbed some of their money for costs associated with the scam?

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

By: Time for Truth on 8/15/07 'effect' not 'affect'. They should have put an 'edit' link with the 'delete' link for sloppy proofreading (and I'm certainly not the only one here guilty of that!) Easy enough to do copy the originional, delete then paste it on a new post then make corrections.

By: Cowboy84 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

If a downtown ballpark was such a great idea with so much support wouldn't it be going up right now? There is something wrong with both the leadership of the Sounds and the city that they cannot build a stadium that would cost less than any number of things in the Metro budget. I'm not a baseball fan but something stinks is this whole process.

By: Kosh III on 12/31/69 at 6:00

First, why are they not discussing putting in downtown Franklin. I thought downtown was the only feasible place to put this. Second, "so long and thanks for the fish."Third, just in case anyone from NCP is reading this: I do NOT like the new format. Many of the articles do not let you make comments, the one on wasting water in West Nashville for example. Do like everyone else, get a decent forum board.

By: Dragon on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I-65 near Franklin becomes a parking lot during rush hour. I hope that increased traffic congestion is considered when doing the impact study.

By: JeffF on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I think it is funny that Yaeger apparently would like the land adjacent to the Nissan NA Headquarters. That land is owned by the city and county for the purpose of selling it to help pay their part of the costs for the Nissan deal. I am sure they will not give away the land that is in hock already with GO bonds from ther Industrial Development Board. That land and the riverfront land here in Nashville is for economic development, not for poor baseball teams loking for a handout. Downtown Nashville already has too many tour-on businesses dedicated to attaining still more largess. Sink or swin Baby. And anyway we are talking tourism, a poor excuse for an economic engine. Luckily tourism in baseball s limited to the majors. There are very very very very very few baseball tramps who travel to destinations based on little league baseball stadiums.Maybe Franklin has the right idea; little league baseball as a citizen amenity, not another way to trap people in downtown at night.

By: 37205Democrat on 12/31/69 at 6:00

KoshIII, I agree. I no longer even look at the stories on that side of the screen and I'm sure I'm not the alone. What's the deal, NCP?

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

The deal is they are getting more "hits" this way so they can up their advertiseing rates but they don't realize that it is us comeing in and out rather then keeping the window open all day.This really does **** and for the first time I usually post more on the rag then here as you can get to everything there.