|At least Knoxville (or Sevierville) did it right.
Unlike their neighbors to the south in Chattanooga, the Smokies actually
got a better park when they moved from their old one.
Bill Meyer Stadium
was a neat old park, but had clearly seen better days. If renovations
weren't going to be made to it, then building a new park was the next best
thing. Unfortunately, the park is built 20 miles outside of Knoxville
in Sevierville right of I-40. Smokies Park follows the double-A / Atlantic
League model of stadiums, most resembling Lakewood's
GPU Energy Park
. The park is sunk in, so you enter on the concourse above the seating.
The concourse circles the entire park which allows fans to take in
the game from many different angles. Concession stands are numerous
and contain a decent variety of food at reasonable prices. The seating
is mostly individual chairs with just a couple sections of bench seating.
There is no middle concourse here, so every seat is close to the field
and has good sightlines. Additional seating is available on the grass
berms in the outfield. The park is set into the side of a small mountain
and has a KOA campground overlooking it. The backdrop is a bit skunky
however. A restaurant is located down the third base line and is open
before and during the game. There is also a large gift store on the
first base side of the concourse. Parking is plentiful and $3. I
never saw a game at Bill Meyer Stadium, but to the average fan, I'm sure
Smokies Park is an improvement.