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Kingsport approves feasibility study for new baseball stadium

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Kingsport’s Board of Mayor and Alderman has voted unanimously to move forward on a project to built a new multi-million-dollar stadium for the Mets. It's a potential big boom for downtown Kingsport.

They’re looking to other cities for inspiration for a multi-purpose facility.

"They built their stadium in such a way that they could do a lot more with it,” Assistant City Manager Chris McCartt. “I've seen examples of, in the winter time, an ice skating rink." :09

Other ideas include concerts, soccer games and a park. A $95,000 feasibility study will determine the best use.

"That will be a huge plus,” Downtown Kingsport Associate Director Allie Adams. “Then (we’ll) be able to have this facility downtown for other events throughout the year as an outdoor venue, that is going to be huge for us."

The project will allow the city to make use of a vacant lot, the former General Shale Brick.

A new facility does not mean Kingsport is abandoning Hunter Wright Stadium, the current home of the Mets. It's only 23 years old. High school, middle school and tournament games will continue there.

"There are several tournaments that we pass on being able to host, simply because we don't have the field space,” McCartt said.

If the city proceeds, the new stadium could cost upwards of $10 million, but the return could be even greater.

"So many people love the Mets,” Adams said. “We love the Mets, and so to have Mets games downtown, for one, we’ll be able to get people downtown in our restaurants. In our awesome shops."

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