Knoxville, TN - Smokies Stadium will play host to a live nationally televised audience on Thursday, June 18, as the Tennessee Smokies' matchup against the Mississippi Braves will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network as the network's 'Game of the Week', as announced by Minor League Baseball. That evening's contest against the M-Braves, the Double-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. start.
"This is obviously very exciting news for us, and we're honored to have been chosen," said Smokies Team President Doug Kirchhofer. "We are very much looking forward to working with CBS Sports Network, as well as showcasing Smokies Stadium to a very large audience."
Smokies Stadium will be the only Southern League stadium to host the network as part of this season's package according to the published schedule, which offers nine other Minor League Baseball matchups throughout the summer. This is also believed to be the first time a nationally televised game will broadcast live from the ballpark.
"We're delighted to be one of only ten minor league teams selected to receive this opportunity," added Smokies Vice President and COO Chris Allen. "It's also a great chance for us to show off our newly renovated stadium, and for baseball fans across the country to watch some of the best young prospects in professional baseball."
Currently in their ninth season affiliated with the Chicago Cubs, Smokies fans over the past few seasons have watched premier talent play in East Tennessee en route to the Major Leagues, including Starlin Castro, Kyle Hendricks, Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant and Addison Russell. Just last season, the Cubs and Smokies announced a four-year extension to their Player Development Contract that will keep the two teams aligned through the 2018 campaign.
Smokies Stadium itself has also undergone several enhancements since Randy and Jenny Boyd took over ownership of the club during the 2013 campaign. Upgrades include new premium group areas such as Calhoun's At The Yard and the Pioneer Porch, upgrades to the suite level, and the addition of the Smoky Mountain Brewery Bullpen, among other changes. Those improvements, combined with a franchise record-breaking season attendance of 283,083, earned the Tennessee Smokies the Southern League's Don Mincher Organization of the Year Award following the 2014 season.
June 18's contest was one of ten chosen to be televised live this summer on CBS Sports Network, which is available in 96 million homes nationwide on cable, satellite and video provider systems throughout the United States according to the network's website. This marks the second season in which the network and Minor League Baseball have teamed up to showcase affiliated games after CBS Sports Network broadcast ten contests last season. The Smokies will not be the only Cubs affiliate to play host this year, as the Triple-A Iowa Cubs' matchup with the Memphis RedBirds on July 16 will also be broadcast as the Game of the Week.
CBS Sports Network is available across the country through local cable, video and telco providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 221 and Dish Network Channel 158. For more information, including a full programming schedule and how to get CBS Sports Network, visit www.cbssportsnetwork.com.
Tickets for that game, as well as the remaining home contests at Smokies Stadium, are on sale and can be purchased online at smokiesbaseball.com, or by calling the Smokies Ticket Office at 865-286-2300. Multi-game voucher packs and season tickets are also still available for purchase.