Construction has officially begun at Sulphur Dell for a new ballpark for Nashville's AAA baseball team the Sounds.
A groundbreaking ceremony, with hundreds in attendance, was held Monday afternoon and included a special appearance by MLB All-Star Albert Pujols.
"This is a special place, baseball originated here over 100 years ago. Thousands of games, millions of memories and we are looking forward to continuing those memories for years to come," Sounds co-owner Frank Ward said.
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean announced plans for the new $80 million project at Sulphur Dell in late August. The plan includes a ballpark, residential developments and a parking garage.
"During the last six years, it's been one of the projects that I was not certain we would be able to get to it. I think deciding to do it at Sulphur Dell is absolutely the key thing. Once that decision was made, the Sounds got on board and the general support from the public was overwhelming," Dean said.
Located on Jackson Street, east of the Bicentennial Mall between Fourth and Fifth avenues, the site, which is state owned, is the original home of Nashville's minor league team.
The ballpark was built in 1870 and used for nearly 100 years until 1963. It was eventually demolished in 1969.
The new ballpark is expected to be open in time for the 2015 season.
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