The 10,000-seat baseball stadium – home to the minor league (AAA) Nashville Sounds baseball team – is a home run for the city, sports fans or no.
First Tennessee Park brings in elements of Nashville's past while also featuring modern amenities.
Even the baseball scoreboard says "Music City" — Photo courtesy of Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds
The Sounds used to play in Greer Stadium, a quaint yet dated stadium in Fort Negley. Greer couldn't accommodate the needs of modern fans, so a new stadium, closer to downtown; to LP Field, where the Tennessee Titans NFL team plays; and to Bridgestone Arena, where the NHL's Nashville Predators play, was built.
The location is in Sulphur Dell, which served as a location for baseball games in Nashville from 1870 to 1963. The old Sulphur Dell stadium was knocked down in 1969.
Photos of the area's baseball heritage and history can be found throughout the park. And erected in the new park is a homage to Greer: a guitar-shaped scoreboard, this time in the right-center-field wall, with a view of the city's skyline in the back.
But for all its nods to the past, First Tennessee Park is a thoroughly modern stadium and home for the Sounds, who are now an affiliate for the Oakland A's.
Stroll through the park, which sits on more than 10 acres within walking distance to the downtown and Germantown neighborhoods, and you'll find all sorts of amenities baseball fans didn't dream of the last time Music City got a new stadium. (Being in walking distance of other attractions is a bonus because the stadium's new parking garage won't open 'til 2016.)
Of course there are hot dogs and beer: this is baseball, after all. But local restaurateur Strategic Hospitality is running The Band Box, a bar and restaurant where locals are loving hanging out, not just for the game. There's even a giant photo frame where you can insert yourself into a giant baseball card.
The stadium is designed to cope if the nearby Cumberland River floods, and engineers also included eco-friendly features, such as a green roof and rainwater collection.
If traditional stadium seating isn't your thing, you can bring a blanket and picnic while watching the game from a grass berm. Fireworks explode overhead at Friday night home games, and there's WiFi throughout, so you can Instagram and tweet pictures of the Sounds' new uniforms and more to your friends.
That's a whole new ball game for Nashville.