There were (are) many opinions regarding about what would be the best use for Veteran's Park and many center around some kind of sports, be it basketball, softball, or as was just voted down Tennis. It appears that the Council voted down the proposal to construct a tennis park complex at Veteran's park and the 5 cent tax that would have gone along with it to assist in construction cost but those who voted against openly said that it didn't mean that at some future point the tennis complex wouldn't be re-considered or built on the site.
Many, who opposed the project, considered it as a "Field of Dreams" type project, in other words, "if you build it they will come" (my own opinion). I have to admit that I haven't been following it that closely but I had always thought that the Bass Pro proposal was a good one but then there was a definite conflict of interest given that the property, or much of it, was TVA owned and that would cause problems with other competitive vendors such as Field & Stream and Academy Sports. It was the commercial aspect that I believe doomed the Bass Pro proposal along with the very likely event that Bass Pro themselves wasn't really committed to expending resources for that limited a project.
I feel for those that are trying to make a choice as given the area and what's already here it's a difficult decision. Commercially we already have a trampoline park/business, several sporting goods stores, several boating dealers, several nice boat launching facilities/ramps, and there is the Marriot hotel and visitor's center so those are well represented meaning that we really don't need the additional facilities but of those, I mentioned, the Boat ramp, river access area, might be more utilized given that many times, during the summer, all local ramps are seemingly fully utilized and occupied. The existing facilities which have tables and canopies for allowing cook outs and meetings need updating and improving as well as the lighting around the area but then, unfortunately, I've heard that a certain segment of the community often uses that part of the city for their "dating encounters" and that would need to cease as it's certainly not a family friendly situation. I do, however, think that something that is catered toward both the community and to attract others from outside the area (visitors that is) would be a better use of the site. This might mean creating and improving the area for Recreational Vehicles and Campers. I'd be for developing the area to allow for small cabins to be built along the river, along with an expanded camping and RV area and establishment of a sand beach for swimming but I admittingly make that statement without knowing the situation of the bank and river front around that area. And that would also come with renovation of the existing area buildings allowing for cookouts and the renovation of the associated restroom areas including enhanced lighting of the areas and video surveillance of the area to dissuade vandalism and the use of the area by those looking to avoid paying for a motel.
I really don't know what is the answer for the area, which is most likely why I'm not on any committee to make recommendations for the area but I do think that the area is underused and not taken care of and needs to be utilized better and more. Guess as with most things it's going to take more time.