Saturday, September 15, 2012
The Charlotte Knights held the official groundbreaking ceremony on Friday for their new $54M uptown stadium.
The long-planned baseball stadium, BB&T Ballpark, is a milestone in the long effort to bring minor league baseball back to the city.
Team officials say the move to uptown will help secure the future of the Triple-A ball club, which has played for more than two decades just over the state line in Fort Mill.
Others say the ballpark could spark development on that end of uptown, including retail and multifamily housing. The stadium site itself also includes room for a possible hotel and restaurant.
The team — the AAA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox — plays in a York County-owned stadium in Fort Mill, SC that has been the franchise’s home since 1990, after then-owner George Shinn moved the team out of Charlotte’s Crockett Park. The team has long struggled to draw fans at that location. The goal has been to boost attendance and revenue in a relocation to Charlotte.
The 8-acre site is off Mint and East Third streets. Mecklenburg County is contributing $8 million, and has agreed to lease the team land for a $1 a year that has been valued at between $20 million and $24 million. The stadium itself is expected to cost $54 million.
Opening day in Uptown Charlotte is set for April 2014.
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