Review by Gary
Smokies Stadium has been occupied by the Tennessee Smokies since it opened in 2000. The Southern League’s Double-A Smokies previously played in Knoxville, TN since 1972 and appear to be headed back there in the near future to a proposed downtown stadium. It would be a shame if that occurred as the Smokies current den is quite a nice ballpark.
I met with Lindsey, the Smokies Communications, Relations and Marketing Coordinator, an hour before a doubleheader for a private tour of the stadium. Lindsey showed me around the club’s impressive workout facility, cushy suite levels, busy broadcast booth, owner’s box and vast seating area.
Smokies Stadium is a beautiful place to see the national game. With over 10 different locations to choose from an array of foods and at least two dozen types of beverages, it would take a three-game series to try all of the foodstuffs available.
The stadium is in excellent condition and the viewing angles are amazing from any of the 6,412 seats and seating areas. All of the field level seats are the same price, but I would have opted for the cushioned chairs in the top three rows behind third base. For a little bit extra, fans can invest in an all-you-can-eat food voucher to go with their left field seating. For a little less, a bleacher or berm seating plot can be had with an equally great view of the action.
The second-story club level is flanked with two private suites, one for a private law firm and the other for group outings. The owner’s box and broadcast booth are also on this air-conditioned level with Wall-of-Fame photos, trophies, jerseys, and the like lining the hallway that leads to each booth. I am still of the opinion that mementos such as these should be on the concourse level for all fans to see and appreciate.
The playing area features symmetrical outfield dimensions. I especially liked that the dirt around home plate was cut into the shape of home plate and not the dull circle found at many parks. The playing field is covered with Bermuda grass, which was a welcome sight after the field turf found in many stadiums.
Smokies Stadium is located 25 miles north of the main entrance to the great Smoky Mountains Park in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and a wonderful diversion from all of the tourist attractions you’ll find there when vacationing in eastern Tennessee. Thanks again to Lindsey for agreeing to meet with me and taking the time to show me around this attractive stadium.