The Smokies

Tennessee Smokies Baseball 2020 season has been cancelled

It looks like fans of the Tennessee Smokies might have to wait until 2021 to see their favorite team in action again.

The Tennessee Smokies announced last week that there will not be a 2020 Minor League Baseball season.

The announcement cites the health and safety of fans, players and staff in the middle of the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis.

“The health and safety of our fans, players and staff members is our top priority. We look forward to creating more memories that last a lifetime at Smokies Stadium,” reads a statement on the Tennessee Smokies Twitter page.

Read More: Why you should catch a game at Smokies Stadium while you still can

Minor League Baseball announced today that there will not be a 2020 Minor League Baseball season. The health and safety of our fans, players and staff members is our top priority. We look forward to creating more memories that last a lifetime at Smokies Stadium. pic.twitter.com/h1awiSHtqV

— Tennessee Smokies (@smokiesbaseball) June 30, 2020

However, the show must go on for the Major Leagues. Major League Baseball is set to begin on July 23 with heightened health and safety procedures in place.

The Tennessee Smokies Baseball team is a Double A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Smokies Stadium is located in Kodak near Interstate Exit 407.

Other Smokies Baseball Event Cancellations

This announcement comes on the heels of many other recent cancellation notices by Tennessee Smokies Baseball team. Other cancelled events include:

  • Tennessee Smokies Beerfest 2020 (originally scheduled for Aug. 15)
  • Great Smoky Mountain Autofest Motorama (originally scheduled for Oct. 17-18)
The Smokies, Smokies Baseball Stadium
The Smokies Baseball Stadium (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

The Tennessee Smokies Beerfest would have taken place at Smokies Stadium and was set to feature over 30 local breweries, beer tastings, awards, music and food. This dog-friendly event would have been sponsored by Young-Williams Animal Shelter.

The Great Smoky Mountain Autofest was also meant to be held at Smokies Stadium in partnership with The Diner Rats Car Club.

Read More: Spring Rod Run 2020 was cancelled, enthusiasts decide show must go on

Are the Tennessee Smokies Moving to Knoxville?

Rumors have been flying over the course of the past couple of years about the possibility of the Tennessee Smokies baseball team moving to Knoxville.

And it appears there may be some validity to these rumors.

The Tennessee Smokies are currently playing under a lease that runs through 2025 at their current location at Smokies Park in Kodak.

It was recently confirmed by WBIR that Knoxville city officials are in early discussions with Boyd Sports, the owner of Smokies Baseball about a new downtown ballpark.

The new ballpark would be part of a larger mixed-use development near Knoxville’s Old City neighborhood.

This wouldn’t be the first time the Smokies called Knoxville home. The Smokies originally played in Knoxville from 1954-1999, so a potential move would be a bit of a homecoming for this popular baseball team.

“I think there’s been a sense that Knoxville misses minor league ball in the city,” said Knoxville Chief Policy Offer Bill Lyons in an interview with WBIR.

The Smokies Baseball Field
A young Smokies Baseball fan enjoys a game at Smokies Stadium (file photo from 2018 by John Gullion/TheSmokies.com)

However, these discussions are still extremely preliminary and no firm plans have been made to move the team at this time.

We would imagine it’s safe to say for now, the team is mostly focused on whether or not there will be a season 2021 at all, and finding a new normal during these troubling times.

Visit The Smokies Baseball website for more information about The Tennessee Smokies Baseball team, ticket sales, game schedules and player statistics.

Visit the CDC website and the Tennessee Department of Health website for the latest information about the coronavirus.

Why you should catch a game at Smokies Stadium while you still can

With rumors of an impending return to Knoxville swirling, the days of the Tennessee Smokies in Kodak appear to be numbered. 

Looking simply at the likely end result, it’s tempting to look at the Smokies two decades at Exit 407, the main entrance to Sevier County and Pigeon Forge, as something less than a complete success. 

But don’t be fooled. Smokies baseball in Sevier County has been a huge success and it’s not too late to experience a unique ballpark with a rich, if short, baseball legacy.

A lot of the success of the Smokies in Sevierville comes from the affiliation with the Chicago Cubs.

Not only do the Cubs bring a national following – thanks to the ’80s heyday of WGN broadcasting the gospel of Harry Carey to the unwashed masses – but it also allows the Smokies to appropriate some of that Chicago baseball culture to East Tennessee.

The Smokies fly the W-flag after wins, the fans sing ‘Go Cubs Go’ and there’s one concession stand devoted to Chicago specialties like Italian Beefs and Chicago Dogs. 

The Smokies, Smokies Baseball Stadium
The Smokies baseball stadium is located in Kodak (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

The benefit of being a Cubs affiliate doesn’t stop at the atmosphere. The Cubs have – in recent years – had one of the strongest farm systems in baseball.

There are many big leaguers playing now who came through Smokies Stadium on their way to the show, including heroes of the Cubs World Series win like Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant. 

Though the Smokies are languishing in the Southern League standings this year, they traditionally put a strong product on the field.

And even when the Smokies are down, their Southern League brethren bring a bevy of future major leaguers to town. Possible future hall of famers like Giancarlo Stanton, Joey Votto and Evan Longoria have all played in Smokies Stadium.

Like most minor league teams, the Smokies go the extra mile to keep things loose at the park. There are Stars Wars days and Jimmy Buffet nights.

They have kids chase a guy in a chicken costume across the field at the seventh inning stretch and hold any number of on-field promotions. Many Saturday night games end in fireworks and there are dollar beer and hot dog promotions through the week. 

Smokies officials have worked hard to upgrade the concession options in park.

In addition to the traditional concession stands, one of which features traditional northern Indiana breaded tenderloin sandwiches, there are a large number of specialty vendors selling everything from mixed drinks and moonshine to brats or street tacos. 

The Smokies Baseball Field
Smokies baseball games are great for families (photo by John Gullion/TheSmokies.com)

Located on the first base side of the Luxury Level, The Garza Law Terrace at Smokies Stadium offers high end entertainment.

With spectacular views of the game in a private, climate controlled indoor setting, in addition to outdoor seating. The Garza Law Terrace at Smokies Stadium offers a unique and extensive beverage assortment, hardwood flooring, flat screen TV’s, and multiple seating options throughout the area.

A relatively new addition is Calhoun’s At The Yard, located in left field at Smokies Stadium just beyond the outfield fence.

Calhoun’s is a well-known Knoxville-area group of restaurants specializing in the art of barbecue.

Guests at Calhoun’s At The Yard have access to the buffet of Calhoun’s dishes such as hickory smoked pork barbeque, smoked barbeque chicken, baked beans, coleslaw, spinach artichoke dip with tortilla chips, a hot dog bar and more. 

The opportunity to enjoy minor league baseball in Sevier County may be going away eventually. But until it does, the folks at Smokies Stadium strive to provide a major-league experience at minor league prices. 

Visit website

Location: 3540 Line Dr, Kodak, TN 37764 (Exit 407)

Office Hours: Monday-Friday 10 am to 5 pm, Game Date/Times Vary