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The Nashville Sounds Prep For a Whole New Ballgame at First Horizon Park

by Rich and Laura Lynch

As the Nashville Sounds begin preparations for another exciting post-season in the International League - most recently with a shockingly impressive come from behind 8 to 7 win over their regional rivals the Memphis Showbirds on Friday, September 08, 2023 - team executives were quietly making their own moves to introduce a brand new ball game to the Music City fans inside the cozy confines of First Horizon Park.

The game featured an interstate rivalry between Nashville and Memphis.

It was after all Pickleball Paddle Night at the stadium and the popular giveaway should have been the first clue that something was up as the team became the latest to jump on the incendiary worldwide craze that is pickleball. The September promotion followed a similar one in the springtime that featured a quality paddle co-branded and sponsored by Vanderbilt Health offered to the first 1000 fans to enter the ballpark.

It was a lovely night for baseball in Mid-Tenn.

It wasn't until late in the game when we realized where this was all heading. The Nashville Sounds no doubt took some inspiration from the Boston Red Sox who opened up Fenway Park to pickleball fans during the All-Star break this summer when a graphic flashed promising "Winter Pickleball" at First Horizon Park coming soon in November through March of 2024.

Jillian Eliza hit it out of the park with her impressive opening set of music

"The graphic was a bit of a teaser," admitted team Communication Manager Collin Perry who was content to hold some of the more pertinent details close to the vest at this time. But, we know this much so far - the collaboration between the Sounds and the Dinkville pickleball community in Nashville will offer open play and league tournaments when the master plan is finally unveiled. And, we like the sound of that!

The Sounds and Vanderbilt Health distributed 1000 high quality pickleball paddles.

We also liked the sound of musician Jillian Eliza, a country music singer-songwriter from Nashville, who was the featured opening act on the pre-game stage set up on the right field concourse. Elza packed a punch with her live performance that revealed her capacity for engaging, clever and heartfelt lyrics. Recently, she has shared the stage and opened up for Luke Combs, Brett Eldredge, Lee Brice, Travis Tritt, the late Joe Diffie, Granger Smith, Ashley McBryde, Midland, Wynonna Judd, Jordan Davis, Thompson Square, Jimmie Allen, Kip Moore and many more. It's no wonder she looked so right at home in a stadium setting.

Sounds mascot Booster was enjoying Pickleball Paddle night a lot more than Hot Chicken night back in July.

Dinkville is the #1 Pickleball Community in Music City! Founded in July of 2022 they are at the forefront of promoting and elevating the fast rising game in Nashville by organizing play locally in Leagues, Tournaments, Organized Play, and Open Court. The have an associated online and social media presence along with a track record of co-branding with the area's largest pickleball endeavors - like "Winter Pickleball" at First Horizon Park.

Play ball! Pickleball that is - coming this winter to First Horizon Park.

Related Links: For more information on the NASHVILLE SOUNDS and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Nashville Sounds | First Horizon Park | Jillian Eliza | Dinkville | Baseball in Nashville Never Sounded So Good As the Hot Chickens Take the Field at First Horizon Park


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