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Audit shows Nashville Sounds stadium cost millions more than predicted

(WZTV)

An audit shows First Tennessee Park cost more than $50 million more than it's predicted cost presented to Metro Council.

With Two dogs, David Kalafut spends a lot of time walking around his Germantown neighborhood.

Kalafut especially likes strolling by the First Tennessee Park, where the Nashville Sounds play, and the surrounding greenway.

"I guess it's kind of the main draw," Kalafut said. "It's a pretty nice walk."

It's a big change from what stood on the property just a few years ago.

North Nashville Council Member Erica Gilmore said the changes show the decision to build the ballpark was a good one.

"If you look what has happened there are restaurants, and the area is buzzing with apartments and people," Gilmore said.

That buzz does come with a cost though, and a new Metro Audit says it's considerably more than originally discussed.

"The original council presentation was $37 million," said Council Member John Cooper. "It ended up costing $91 million. That's two different decisions."

Cooper said the audit shows the public didn't have the full picture of how big of an investment the stadium would be.

Construction and land costs ended up at more than $69 million. That's nearly $10 million over estimate.

Metro also spent more than $21 million on ancillary investments around the ballpark including:

  • Parks Greenway Improvements $9.4 million
  • North Nashville Infrastructure $5.5 million
  • Flood Improvements $3.5 million
  • MWS Water Infrastructure $1.6 million
  • MWS Stormwater $513,000
  • Ballpark Garage Design $472,613

Cooper believes it adds up to a cautionary tale for future proposals to build a soccer stadium.

"Got to look at the soccer stadium with this big what if," Cooper said. "We've learned from the ballpark with if it costs half again as much money would we still make the same decision."

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