02/08/2006 11:41 AM ET
Sounds get new park on the river
First Tennesee Field to open for the 2007 season
An artist's rendering of the new Sounds ballpark, to be called First Tennessee Field.  (Nashville Sounds)

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The Sounds, champions of the Pacific Coast League, are moving to downtown Nashville.

For the past three years, the Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers has been negotiating for the right to build a new ballpark on city-owned land in time for the 2007 season. On Tuesday night, the Metro Council ended its debate and voted in favor of the team's proposal, 28-9.

"It's been a long process for us to get the approval, and we're really excited to get going on this," said Glenn Yaeger, the Sounds' general manager.

The new $43 million ballpark, to be called First Tennessee Field, will be built on the old Nashville Thermal Transfer Plant site over the next 14 months, along the Cumberland River. Commercial and residential properties will be developed on the surrounding acreage.

Yaeger said the firms Looney Ricks Kiss Architects of Memphis and Kansas City-based HOK Sports -- the same team that designed AutoZone Park in Memphis -- were selected to work on the project.

"Some of the downtown Minor League ballparks built in the last five years like Toledo and Memphis come to mind," said Yaeger, discussing the possible design of the new Nashville field.

"But our ballpark will be different, being on a riverfront, where we can incorporate green space into the ballpark."

The Sounds have been playing at their current ballpark, Greer Stadium, since 1978 and have long said the field on Chestnut Street is antiquated and won't serve them much longer.

According to the Sounds website, existing season-ticket holders will receive priority in selecting seats at the new ballpark. Once the seating chart is finalized, fans will be contacted about selecting their actual seat locations.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.