The Return of Downtown Baseball

An ongoing survey of Knoxvillians

Although there has been more than one hiatus, 2011 marks 100 years since the first Knoxville Smokies baseball team. Problem is they are no longer the Knoxville Smokies. Due to a variety of ill-conceived decisions, the team moved to Kodak in 2000. Too late for the blame game, plenty enough to go around. Almost everyone celebrates the remarkable resurgence of downtown in the past decade or so and now is the time to bring the greatest game in the world back to downtown. As I understand it, the Smokies' lease in Kodak is for 20 years so 2011 would be their twelfth year there. We have eight years to build a stadium and bring them home. It is surely not too early to begin the process. I sincerely hope that the new mayor, whomever she may be, and City Council with four new members, will consider getting the ball rolling.

—Norris Dryer