Group asks for delay in Sounds Stadium construction - KCTV5

Group asks for delay in Sounds Stadium construction at city meeting

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Officials with Mayor Karl Dean's office met with people who want to put the brakes on one of his main projects Thursday. Some groups said they're concerned about the history behind the Sulphur Dell Site and items that are even older than Tennessee itself that could be lost forever.

The sign outside the new Sounds Stadium site reads, "First Pitch. Spring 2015." Watching the dirt plowed in a gated space downtown, Albert Bender of the American Indian Coalition said Nashville doesn't realize the importance of the new stadium site.

"There's so much that can be learned there," said Bender. "What we can learn can provide a whole new chapter in the history of Nashville."

In the meeting with city officials, Bender said the site was a Native American salt mining operation 800 years ago and possibly a cemetery. Bender and other representatives of Native American organizations are asking the city to build an interpretive center alongside the new stadium and delay construction to fully study the site.

"I'd say no more than a year," said Bender. "That's little ask for considering the Sounds already have a stadium to play in."

In the meeting Thursday, officials said they won't delay construction, and there's no money or space for an interpretive center. They said a 10-day archaeological excavation didn't turn up any evidence of a cemetery. However, they added they want to build a memorial to the area's history with assistance from Native American advisors.

"If they're not able to make a better offer to us, we'll have no alternative but to consider a lawsuit," said Bender.

With still no resolution, Bender is still asking the city to conduct a study into how much an interpretive center could cost.

"The tremendous treasure trove of knowledge that could be obtained could be incalculable," said Bender.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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