Mayor, Nashville Sounds host groundbreaking for new ballpark

Officials break ground at site of new [Sulpher Dell] ballpark  Photo: Metropolitian Nashville and Davidson County

Officials break ground at site of new [Sulpher Dell] ballpark
Photo: Metropolitian Nashville and Davidson County

Mayor Karl Dean and the Nashville Sounds hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking for the city’s new minor league ballpark on Jan. 27 at the future ballpark site at Sulphur Dell. Afterward, the Nashville Sounds hosted a free Family Fun Festival.

“With this ballpark and the planned surrounding developments, the energy and excitement of our downtown will be connected to some of our most vibrant urban neighborhoods,” Mayor Dean said. “Not only was this the most feasible option, but as a baseball fan who also loves history, I really felt that no site was more special than here at Sulphur Dell, the historic home of baseball in Nashville. Solidifying the decision for me was the economic benefit I knew this project would create for the north side of downtown.”

The ballpark is expected to be completed in time for the 2015 season. The city’s investment in a new ballpark returns baseball to its historic home in Sulphur Dell and will spur further redevelopment of the Jefferson Street area.

“When my partners and I purchased the Sounds five years ago, we had a vision of bringing the country’s best minor league baseball park to this city, and we are excited to formally begin that process with today’s groundbreaking,” said Frank Ward, co-owner of the Nashville Sounds.

“This state-of-the-art ballpark will be something that Nashville can be proud of — a safe, family-friendly destination for fans of all ages.”

The groundbreaking ceremony included Pat O’Conner, President and CEO of Minor League Baseball; Doug Melvin, General Manager of the Milwaukee Brewers; and a special appearance by Major League Baseball player Albert Pujols. Country/rock band Phoenix Drive and the Nashville Singers vocal group provided music.

Councilwomen for the area, Erica Gilmore, said, “This development is a wonderful catalyst for the north Nashville community.”

The Family Fun Festival included baseball-themed activities for kids, such as a wiffle ball field, a speed pitch booth and a bounce house. Sounds’ mascot Ozzie and first baseman Hunter Morris took photos with fans.