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Most Council Members Stand Behind Ball Park Deal

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Mayor Karl Dean says there's a good reason why he wants to move quickly on approving the new home of the Nashville Sounds.
      
 "It's important for us to move forward while interest rates are low," said Dean.

The ballpark would straddle 4th and 5th avenue south of Germantown.

Monday Dean released the specifics of the $150 million ballpark and surrounding development.

Both the Nashville Sounds and developer Embrey have plans to build major development around the ballpark.

The Sounds want to spend $50 million on a retail/residential mix project while Embrey plans to spend $37 million on development of it's own.

Those developments would be key towards helping Nashville pay off the debt of the park.

Under the deal, Nashville would spend $37 million for the ballpark, $23 million for the land and another $5 million for interest.

The two developments around the ballpark will help chip in an estimated $1.4 million to help pay off the debt.

The Sounds are also agreeing to pay $700,000 a year in rent.  Currently the team pays nothing.

Under the deal, Metro would also expect to recoup an estimated $650,000 in sales taxes generated by the stadium and another $520,000 from existing tax-increment financing that's already been collected.

Additionally the deal would create several budget savings for metro.

Finance Director Rich Riebeling says with those savings and extra tax money Nashville would only have to chip in an extra $345,000 a year for the stadium.

"Within our budget, size of our budget, it's something we can easily handle," said Riebeling.

Riebeling released the details of the plan to a group of Metro Council Members Monday night who will ultimately vote on the plan.

None expressed opposition and only Duane Dominy said he was undecided.

Dominy is concerned about a lack of guarantees the Sounds and Embrey developments will be built.

"It looks like a reasonable deal for the city because it's a limited impact to the budget, $345,000 but that's only if all those things fall into place.  That is a concern to me," said Dominy.

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