Tennessee Smokies Proposal to Relocate Stadium

Tennessee Smokies owner Randy Boyd proposed last month to relocate the baseball team by 2019.

In the proposal sent to Sevierville and Sevier County, Boyd suggested the Double-A baseball team could remain playing in Sevierville through the 2018 season.

Boyd, the state’s economic and community development commissioner, recently purchased approximately 7 acres in Knoxville’s Old City for $6 million, fueling speculation he might bring baseball back to Knoxville.

A July 19 email from Sevier County Economic Development Executive Director Allen Newton cited information from Boyd and said a stadium in Knoxville would cost in the “$50 to $60 million range.”

Newton’s comments and Boyd’s proposal were in emails obtained by the News Sentinel via a public records request. Knoxville officials and Boyd began discussions on moving the Smokies to downtown Knoxville from Sevierville as early as 2014, emails obtained in a separate public records request show.

In the emails, Newton said he was “shocked” that “Knoxville and Knox County would even make a proposal to Randy Boyd Sports,” knowing significant years remain on the Tennessee Smokies lease in Sevierville. The lease expires in 2025.