Kingsport city leaders set to consider possibility of new minor league baseball stadium


City leaders in Kingsport will consider the possibility of a brand new minor league baseball stadium Tuesday. 

The new stadium would replace Hunter Wright Stadium, where the Kingsport Mets currently play.

It would be located on the General Shale site behind Centennial Park downtown.

Kingsport’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen will consider the beginning stages for a new stadium during Tuesday’s meeting.

Kingsport Assistant City Manager Chris McCartt said the proposal is part of an effort to boost the city’s economy. 

“You think about events going on sometimes five, six, seven nights a week, that puts feet on the street,” McCartt said.

It’s a facility he said wouldn’t be just for baseball.

“The thought was we would build a minor league stadium but we would design it in such a way that we could have concerts there, we could have festivals there, special events,” McCartt said.

The board will discuss whether or not to enter into an agreement with Sterling Project Development to begin a feasibility study for the stadium. 

It’s a stadium McCartt estimates will cost the city around $10 million, which would replace Hunter Wright Stadium.

“I don’t think there is anything wrong with Hunter Wright stadium,” McCartt said. “The city has invested quite a bit of money into that facility. The thought is that if we had a stadium downtown, would it have a bigger economic impact on our downtown? We believe that.”

Lauren Williams, manager of Main Street Pizza, said she thinks it’s would have a huge impact on their business.

“I think it would mean a whole new ballgame for sure,” Williams said. “I think we would have a lot more people moving through, so it would probably bring a lot more out of town people as well.”

A stop for those who want to grab a slice of pizza before a game.

“You can’t go wrong with beer, pizza, and baseball,” Williams said.

If the board decides to go through with this project, McCartt said Hunter Wright Stadium would continue to be used as a stadium for local sports tournaments.

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