The Tennessee Smokies play their home games in Kodak, Tn and are the Double-A minor league affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs. Located between Knoxville and Sevierville, Tn in the small town of Kodak is Smokies Park. Smokies Park opened in 2000 and can hold up to 8,000 spectators. Fans knew the team as the Knoxville Smokies prior to 2000.
The “Smokies” nickname refers to the Great Smoky Mountains, which the town of Kodak lays at the foot of. The Smoky Mountains got their name because of its hazy mist that gives the appearance of smoke rising from the mountains. It was named “Shaconage” for the blue-gray haze by the Cherokee centuries ago.
Prior to 2005, the Smokies were the Double-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals and prior to that were affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Cardinals later purchased the El Paso Diablos, which had been the Arizona Diamondbacks’ AA affiliate, and the Diamondbacks retained the Smokies as their new AA affiliate. The Chicago Cubs reached a deal with the Smokies through the 2008 season on September 21, 2006. That deal was renewed before the 2009 season and ran until this year – 2012 being the final year of this current deal.
The Smokies’ 2013 regular season schedule was released recently and starts out with a road trip to Florida. On Thursday, April 4, the Smokies travel to play the Pensacola Blue Wahoos before opening at Smokies Park on Wednesday, April 10, in a series that matches them with the Chattanooga Lookouts.
The team’s home finale is set to match the Smokies against the Mobile BayBears on Tuesday, August 27 before concluding the season with another divisional series against the Chattanooga Lookouts on September 2.
As for the best time to catch the team at Smokies Park this coming 2013 season, there are two 10-game homestands. One falls in April and the other in August. The Smokies will also stay out on the road for 10 days in row in May.
For all you fans that get holidays off, be sure to mark these dates on the calendar: May 27 vs. the Huntsville Stars on Memorial Day, June 16 vs. the Mississippi Braves on Father’s Day and July 4 vs. the Huntsville Stars for the Fourth of July Celebration. These dates are also usually promotion nights so be on the lookout for that information as well. As for other holiday dates, Tennessee will be in Jackson for Mother’s Day (May 12) and Chattanooga for Labor Day (September 2) respectively.
In all, 140 games will be played as part of the 2013 season with start times being announced at another time. For additional information, please call the Smokies front office at (865) 286-2300.