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The Hank Aaron Sports Academy, formerly known as Smith-Wills Stadium, is a 5,200 seat baseball stadium in Jackson, MS. The historic facility is the first stadium to host professional baseball in Mississippi, and serves as a multi-purpose arena which hosts baseball games, concerts, community events and more.


Home to the Hank Aaron Sports Academy will host a variety of high school and college games in the 2024 season, as well as a multitude of Youth Travel Baseball tournaments, and will host the 2024 GCAC Conference Championship.



The stadium was originally built in a move by Jackson administration to attract Professional Minor League baseball team. It opened in 1975. Over the years, it has hosted professional baseball as well as musical concerts. In 1999, the stadium hosted its final affiliated professional baseball game, and in 2005 its final professional game. With the addition of FieldTurf artificial turf, Smith–Wills was converted into a true multipurpose facility, able to host a variety of sports and events including football and soccer. Smith–Wills is still used as a venue for MHSAA football events for Jackson Public School District high schools. As of September 16, 2022 Smith-Wills Stadium will play host to the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Championship baseball tournament this spring. A three-year deal was signed for the stadium to host the GCAC championship beginning in 2023 and concluding in 2025, with the options to renew.

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NY METS (AA) 1975-1990

Opened in 1975 under the direction of Doug Shanks and the city of Jackson–Wills Stadium was the home of the Jackson Mets from 1975 to 1990. The Jackson Mets were a Texas League (AA) affiliate of the New York Mets. The Mets moved into Smith–Wills stadium prior to the end of construction. At the home opener for the Mets in 1975, the stadium still lacked a roof over the press-box, and still had an unpaved parking lot. The team won3 Texas League Titles in 1981, 84 & 85. Darryl Strawberry, Kevin Mithell, Billy Beane, LennyDykstra & Kevin Elster were just a few of the stand-out names in the Jackson Mets era. 




Smith–Wills Stadium was the home of the Jackson Generals (now Corpus Christi Hooks) from 1991 to 1999. The Jackson Generals were a Texas League (AA) affiliate of the Houston Astros. After the 1999 season, the Generals were sold to an investment group headed by Major League Baseball hall of famer Nolan Ryan, and were relocated to the newly built Dell Diamond in Round Rock, Texas. Then owner Con Maloney cited poor attendance as well as an aging stadium with no future upgrades or renovations planned as a reason for the demise of the team.


Fernando Valenzuela, Pedro Martinez, Mark McGwire, Roberto Alomar, Johnny Damon,Will Clark and a host of other Mississippi State and Ole Miss stars played here, too. MaxPatkin and the San Diego Chicken performed here. And the Silver Bullets and The King and His Court and two U.S. Olympic squads.

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