When you think of Kingsport, Tennessee, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For most of us, it’s baseball which just happens to field the Kingsport Mets (Rookie; Appalachian League) to the parent ballclub, New York Mets. Through the years, numerous prospects have set their starting point in Kingsport suchs as Brandon Nimmo, T.J. Rivera and Amed Rosario.
According to Matthew Lane of the Kingsport Times-News, the City of Kingsport has begun investigating the possibility of building a brand new stadium for the Kingsport Mets. Built in 1995, currently the Kingsport Mets play at Hunter Wright Stadium that holds a capacity of 2,500 and is named after their popular multi-term mayor. The new stadium would hold anywhere from 3,500 to 4,500-seats at Brickyard Park with an estimated cost of $12 million.
The picture above is just a template of what the stadium would look like. To make the process work, the city leaders approved a $95,000 contract to hire a consulting firm, that firm was later named as Sterling Project Development of New York. The Sterling Project Development or (SPD) is affiliated with the New York Mets and as Mets Minors mentioned here, Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon is a partner in SPD.
A fan of the Kingsport Mets, Mark Davis said this via interview with Baseball Farm:
“From a Kingsport Mets perspective I hope such a stadium, given its proposed location, will draw more support for the team. While the existing Hunter Wright Stadium is one of the nicest facilities in the Appy League its location is tucked away from public view and often forgotten. My hope is the proposed new stadium will increase attendance and visibility for the Mets. But a new stadium will need to be designed for an excellent fan experience and have many of the features that higher levels of minor league baseball has. This endeavor is going to be a lot of money. If they go through with a new stadium it must be done right.”
And Chris McCartt, assistant city manager for administration said this:
“The facility will be much more than just a baseball stadium. If we’re only playing baseball there, we’re not achieving the goal we’ve been tasked with.”
The Kingsport Mets open their Appalachian League season on June 18 on the road against the Greeneville Reds. Their home opener is scheduled for June 20 against the Greeneville Reds prior to facing the Elizabethton Twins for a three-game set from June 21-23.
Full 2019 Schedule:
Link for schedule here.