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Explore Nashville's First Horizon Park

@JoshJacksonMiLB and @JesseABorek
April 5, 2023

Welcome to First Horizon Park, where the chicken is hot, the Sounds are nice and loud and Milwaukee Brewers prospects try to prove they're ready to make the jump from Triple-A to The Show.

Nashville Sounds (Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers since 2021; also served in role from 2005-14)
Established: 1978
League: International League
Ballpark: First Horizon Park (opened 2015 as First Tennessee Park)
League titles: 1979, 1982, 2005
Notable alumni: Trevor Hoffman, Barry Larkin, Hoyt Wilhelm (pitching coach), Don Mattingly, Magglio Ordonez, R.A. Dickey, Tim Dillard

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First Horizon Park is relatively new -- it opened in 2015 -- but the Sounds make their home in an area as historic as just about any in baseball. The stadium was built near the site of Sulphur Dell (once called Sulphur Springs Park or Athletic Park), where the Nashville Americans played in the first iteration of the Southern League during the circuit's inaugural season of 1885. There's some evidence to suggest amateur baseball even was played there a decade and a half before that.

The Sounds franchise has plenty of history itself -- not dating back to the 19th century, but to 1978. The team and its identity have evolved plenty since then, yet the key basics have held steadfast: upper-level affiliated baseball in one of the largest and fastest-growing non-Major League cities -- the country music capital of the world.

Add a state-of-the-art ballpark and a creative, hardworking front office to that mix, and you've got a fan experience that's among the most exciting Minor League Baseball has to offer.

First Horizon Park

Ballpark location (via Google Maps)
Sounds schedule
Sounds roster

19 Junior Gilliam Way
Nashville, TN 37219
(615) 690-4487

Capacity: Approximately 10,000
Dimensions: left field, 330 feet; center field, 403 feet; right field, 310 feet

Park Factors (2021-22)
100 = league average
Runs: 90 | Homers: 71 | Hits: 97
International League environment: 4.89 runs per team per game (seventh-highest among 11 full-season leagues)


At the best sports venues, you're never at risk of forgetting exactly where in the world you are. First Horizon Park checks that box. This is Nashville all the way, from the Sounds' moniker to the stadium's most visible feature (its scoreboard) to the themed-out concessions stands and the Tennessee specialties served out of them. These are the kinds of details that really make the place (ahem) sing.



At First Horizon Park, you always know the score. The most eye-catching part of the park appears ready to entice the ears -- a gigantic guitar-shaped scoreboard suspended high above right-center field. The videoboard's HD LED screen measures over 4,000 square feet, so you won't have any trouble being able to see whether that last play was scored a hit or an error.


In addition to that unique feature that instantly sets First Horizon Park apart, the yard also has one of the most popular attributes among ballparks built in the 21st century: a lively, walkable concourse that will take you all over the stadium and afford you different sightlines of the action on the field.


The walkway beyond the outfield is especially irresistible, with picnic seating and table options in right, a home-run porch in left and an expansive grassy berm in left-center. Beyond right field, you'll find The Band Box (more on the concession specialties served there below), which has games such as corn hole and shuffleboard.


Don't assume that with all the new, shiny elements of the ballyard the Sounds have forgotten their history. You can check out a replica of the Sulphur Dell marquee behind the batter's eye in center, or see a marker where home plate was on First Horizon Park's first-base concourse.

Wherever you are in the stadium, you'll be surrounded by energetic, fun-loving fans who really get into both the game being played in front of them and the often wacky spirit of Minor League Baseball.


The Sounds can accommodate large groups in club-level and field-level suites, but you can also go for premium seating, even if you're traveling alone. Fans in suites and premium seats get access to the Brauer Lounge, which includes a tough-to-beat outdoor observation deck from behind home plate down the first-base line.

That said, even the most affordable ticket gets you a gorgeous view of the game and a trademark top-tier Minor League Baseball fan experience.


Hang around in Nashville for a little while, and somebody's going to suggest you try hot chicken -- fried chicken with a delectable kick. Why not get some at the ballpark? It won't be hard to find; head to the Hot or Not Chicken stand down the third-base line on the main concourse.

On the first-base side, the Music City Grill serves up Tennessee-style pork chop sandwiches as well as staples like burgers, and -- closer to home plate -- Sulphur Dell Slices for pizza and wings and the like.

You'll need a beverage. How 'bout a Sounds Pink Lemonade Shandy made by local favorite TailGate Brewery?

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That shandy is one of many, many unique drinks you can grab out at the Band Box out beyond right field. Whiskey and cola? PB&J shot? Little Harpeth Chicken Scratch Pilsner? Check, check, check. Talk about local flavor.

The Band Box also offers such must-munch items as hot chicken sausages and vegetarian Italian sausages. It's a great place to find lighter but still luxuriant options too (for example, a kale and quinoa salad).


Need a boost? Just call Booster the Rooster. With it being Nashville and all, it seems only right that the club’s mascot would be a hot chicken.


Complete with its own social media platforms, the club’s bright red super-supporter is only recently hatched, having come on the scene for the club’s first contest at First Tennessee Park in April 2015.

Where to Stay

Headed to the stadium and looking for a hotel nearby? Your Wyndham is waiting. As the Official Hotel of Minor League Baseball, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts welcomes baseball fans with a portfolio of 24 trusted brands. Find Hotels by Wyndham closest to the ballpark below and book now at

• Days Inn by Wyndham Nashville North/Opryland Area
• Baymont by Wyndham Nashville
• Super 8 by Wyndham Nashville East
• La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Nashville Downtown/Stadium
• Hillside Crossing Nashville a Ramada by Wyndham

Local attractions

Where to begin?

Well, that's obvious. Head to the Grand Ole Opry House. You don't need to be a country music fan to appreciate the cultural significance of America's longest-running radio program and the scene that produces it and celebrates its living legacy. It's possible to take a tour during the daytime and catch a Sounds game in the evening.

If you are a country music fan, well, the Opry is just the start. There's the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Ryman Auditorium (home of the Opry radio show from 1943-74), the Patsy Cline Museum, the Johnny Cash Museum, the Honky Tonk Highway on Broadway from 5th Avenue all the way northeast to the Cumberland River, and literally dozens more hot spots.

Right at 5th and Broadway, visit the National Museum of African American Music, which opened in 2021.

If music just isn't your thing, you'll still find plenty to love in Nashville. This is, after all, the Athens of the South -- home to several major universities (including baseball powerhouses Vanderbilt and Tennessee State) and the thriving arts, cultural, technological, business and recreational scenes that go along with such a distinction.

Evidence? Check out Nashville's very own Parthenon. In addition to its striking architectural beauty, it's home to the Cowan Collection of American Art and the expansive Centennial Park (lyrically namechecked by no less a music superstar than Taylor Swift).

The historic Tennessee State Capitol -- just a decent outfielder's throw from First Horizon Park -- is also home to the State Museum, and its grounds include the tomb of Young Hickory, James Knox Polk.

Parnassus Books, owned by one of America's finest novelists and essayists in Ann Patchett, has been built by and for people who love the written word. Even if you haven't cracked a spine since you left school, this place will rekindle your love of reading or perhaps spark a new passion.

For some active time outdoors, check out the Cumberland River Greenway (rent a bike or just enjoy a stroll) or the trails of Percy and Edwin Warner Park.

Food and drink

If Nashville wasn't famous for country music, it would be for its dining (and drinking) scene. Not that you can -- or would want to -- separate one from the other. You may set out to hear live music and find the venue serves local delicacies, or you might be in the middle of dinner when a band starts playing.

If that's the experience you're after, you could do worse than checking out Acme Feed & Seed, The Bluebird Cafe or 3rd and Lindsley.

As you'll have learned from the Sounds, hot chicken is a big deal in Nashville. Options abound. If you try only one, make it a classic: Prince's Hot Chicken (multiple locations).

This also is the town that invented the meat-and-three -- the name for an eatery (or plate) in which the customer picks a meat (chicken and chicken-fried steak being two of the most popular options) and three sides. You'll have no trouble finding a good meat-and-three plate, but you might begin with The Loveless Cafe, Belle Meade Meat & Three or the Elliston Place Soda Shop, where you'll want to leave room for a banana split.

Vegans and vegetarians can get in on the hot chicken flavor and fried Southern vibes at Graze.

Moving on

If you're visiting the Sounds in April, it's a good idea to check the Vanderbilt baseball schedule before you leave town. Even if you don't follow college ball, you probably know all about the reputation of those Vandy Boys -- the program produced David Price, Walker Buehler, Tony Kemp, Mike Yastrzemski, Dansby Swanson, Jack Leiter, Kumar Rocker and on and on and on.

But Nashville's central location in the South, a hotbed for the Minors, means there are multiple ways to fit it into a baseball road trip of any length or ambition. You might begin with the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds and carve a parabola with visits to the independent Jackson Rockabillys, the Sounds and the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts (Reds). Time permitting, you could travel down to Atlanta for a Braves game.

It's also possible -- heck, almost too easy -- to see five different Minor League teams while hardly straying off I-65 and never spending as much as two hours on any one leg: the High-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays), the Sounds, the Double-A Rocket City Trash Pandas (Angels), the Double-A Birmingham Barons (White Sox) and the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (Rays).

The road to Milwaukee

The Brewers’ organizational ladder boasts a distinct Southern flavor. Fans hoping to catch a glimpse of future Crew members can traverse Zebulon, Biloxi and Nashville before swinging back up north where Appleton awaits, just over 100 miles north of Milwaukee. (Stops in Fond du Lac and Oshkosh while traversing Lake Winnebago are always encouraged.)

Single-A: Carolina Mudcats
High-A: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Double-A: Biloxi Shuckers
Triple-A: Nashville Sounds