dubone

Charlotte Knights AAA Ballpark in Third Ward

1873 posts in this topic

My wife and I went to the Knights Vs Braves last week. it was a great crowd that night complete with the crowd chanting "lets go Knights" in the 9th when the pitcher was trying to get the last 2 outs. It made me think how great it would be to have the stadium uptown. I would probably go to 10 or so games a years vs the 1 or 2 a go to in Fort Mill.

if the Knights were to continue the Fireworks on weekends, people would come uptown just for that. I would also go hangout even more if Old Mecklenburg Brewery moves the beer garden uptown with the team. I consider the Durham Bulls to be a rival of our Knights and think that it would draw a full house uptown when they play. I have gone to that game in Durham and always wished we could have as cool of a stadium as they have.

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I have gone to that game in Durham and always wished we could have as cool of a stadium as they have.

Along with as cool a name and mascot.

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I do like the idea of regular weekly fireworks uptown at sunset.

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I still think the Charlotte Knights should team up with DC Comics and name the team the "Dark" Knights of Charlotte...wishful thinking I know..but still would be pretty sweet... :thumbsup:

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(a forwarded email I received)

Friends, Baseball Enthusiasts, Charlotte Enthusiasts, General Do-Gooders, Those bored on a Sunday Evening, Please join a group of like-minded folks in Charlotte’s first BASEBALL FLASH MOB to support bringing the Knights home to Uptown!  

On Sunday, May 6 at 6:30PM we will gather at the corner of 3rd and Mint and play a game of baseball (wiffle ball).  

There will be music, photo opportunities for kids and adults alike, and a chance for everyone to swing a bat on the future site of the Charlotte Knights Uptown Stadium!

What you need to know:

Please wear either a white or navy shirt and we will divide up teams accordingly.

If we have any umpires, little leaguers, softballers—please come dressed in your uniform!

Feel free to make signs or wear Knights gear to show your support for the team.

Please help spread the word! 

Look forward to seeing you on the pitch.   

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I have been pretty opposed to this thing all along primarily because this stadium plan and 99 year lease term is regressive thinking for such a city that is progressing so much and could potentially have an MLB team in the not-to-distant future. I am also against the subsidies, but that is because I believe that the stadium adds little overall value to the city, and in the end may be destroyed if/when an MLB team comes.

If they would do the stadium correctly to where it could be updated/renovated readily should an MLB team move to Charlotte, I would have to retract my opposition. If they were to build a stadium similar to TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, I could see myself getting behind this thing, especially since TD Ameritrade is a profitable venue despite having no Minor or MLB teams as tenants.

For those who don't know TD Ameritrade park is the home of the College World Series and a small college baseball team. The stadium is capable of seating 24000 and being expanded to 35000 and is similar in layout to Nationals Park in DC. If they can pull in 5.6 million in profit per year despite the lack of a major tenant, I think a stadium like that could do the same in Charlotte especially if the Knights were to say average 10k-12k per game and we were able to attract college baseball tournaments and build on-site hotels and apartments. Obviously the current sight is not large enough for such a stadium as it's footprint is roughly identical to that of an MLB stadium so moving Graham Street as part of the infrastructure improvements would be an order.

It's just a pipedream, but it's a cool stadium, and the Knights could serve as a placeholder until MLB did show up.

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If BB&T is paying any less than $8 million for naming rights, it seems City taxpayers are being "underbid" or short-changed for their contribution.

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This week, Piedmont Natural Gas has signed on as the first founding partner of the new Knights Stadium. They will recieve signage in the new stadium as well as other promotion opportunities.

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This week, Piedmont Natural Gas has signed on as the first founding partner of the new Knights Stadium. They will recieve signage in the new stadium as well as other promotion opportunities.

Which I honestly don't understand. You either use gas or your don't. If you do, they are they only game in town...so why advertise? What am I missing here?

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I decided to head up the road to Greensboro for some downtown minor league baseball earlier in the week (I have so little desire to go to Ft Mill for a game that I would rather ride the train 100 miles).

What I found in Greensboro was a very nicely designed ballpark, a view of downtown which (for the first time) made me feel like Greensboro was a real city, good beer which also happened to be dirt cheap on Thursdays, and a huge crowd (about 6,500 people for a single A game). A quick check of the South Atlantic League attendence data reveals that Greensboro averages 5,600 people per game and Greenville SC (another relatively new downtown ballpark) almost 4,800 so far this season. Teams in smaller markets (with fewer competing opportunities for entertainment) do much worse: http://www.milb.com/...id=116&sid=l116 Given Charlotte's AAA status the 8,600 fans the Knights need to average is not as much of a reach as I had first assumed

I will admit that there was limited activity around the ballpark (although construction was underway and some new apartments were just coming on line). Despite that, downtown baseball in Greensboro made me want to go back to downtown Greensboro in the future -- after spending my entire life thinking that Greensboro was the dullest place on earth this is a pretty big change. Don't underestimate the power of $3 dollar Yingling to draw a crowd on a sleepy weeknight, I think moving the Knights downtown will be a major improvement for the city (although Southend might be just as good).

Edited by kermit

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There was a somewhat vague article in the Charlotte Biz Journals yesterday talking about city council continues to tweak their plan for the Knights funding. Possibly reducing the $2.5 million in property tax contributions. The Knights have a little over a month to go in their June 30th deadline to have funding lined up.

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Now CCP is trying to give them some of their income stream. What the hell did the Knights do to have them kowtowing so much? Their funds are for a purpose, and not for supporting the operations of a freaking baseball team.

I can see using some form of TIF or rebate for their own property taxes, but not gutting the effectiveness of CCP for decades by offering up for this one trophy project.

CCP should be using their funds looking to the actual future, not obsessing over one factor of uptown planning from the 90s!

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Now CCP is trying to give them some of their income stream. What the hell did the Knights do to have them kowtowing so much? Their funds are for a purpose, and not for supporting the operations of a freaking baseball team.

I can see using some form of TIF or rebate for their own property taxes, but not gutting the effectiveness of CCP for decades by offering up for this one trophy project.

CCP should be using their funds looking to the actual future, not obsessing over one factor of uptown planning from the 90s!

I completely agree. CCP should NOT use their money for this stadium. that would be a complete waste of taxpayer money. Other financing needs to be involved if they want this stadium to happen.

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http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/05/29/3275591/city-releases-new-uptown-baseball.html

Ok, so the Knights are very likely to get their tourism money, and luckily the CCP portion is small enough I'm not bothered by it. At this point the Knights need to just freaking do it already.

I find myself agreeing absolutely with mayor Foxx. I am totally ambivalent about it. I am not outright opposed, but do not want to see much more given to them. I am not favoring property tax to them with the far more important Capital Plan being discussed. And if it never comes to be, the city will not really be much worse off.

The fact that we are still talking about it after all of the agreements is absurd, but given that the $8M of tourism money could not be spent on general needs, if it is what makes it finally happen, then so be it.

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Hmm, I like it a lot more than I expected to. I'll be a little surprised if they ACTUALLY do sidewalks that wide without planting strips but it looks like there's plenty of retail potential on MLK and just a little on Mint, no telling for Graham. I wish the outfield corner at Mint/4th was more addressed but thats probably for vehicles to get in and out right?

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These aren't hypothetical anymore. I suspect what is seen is far closer to what would be reality than anything else, especially since now they're getting more funds.

It seems that 3 of the 4 corners have open space which is probably a good thing in the end.

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any way you twist it, that's a good looking ball park.

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I got to chat with someone close to this project recently and see a lot on how the streets are being dealt with. Like nonillogical said, just seeing the images turned me into a much bigger fan of this project than I was initially.

The street presence along Mint is actually my favorite - the sidewalk becomes an extension of the stadium, engaging pedestrians with the activity inside the stadium. Graham is a bit of a sacrificial lamb, a move that I think is justifiable given the circumstances and given that Graham is already one of the most auto-oriented roads in Uptown. Even the Center City 2020 Plan acknowledges it as an auto thoroughfare. Having said that, it was still a much better street frontage than the Convention Center along Stonewall.

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CharlotteKnights%20stadium%20entrance*900.jpg

I gotta say, I agree. I am just impressed. Many of my concerns about another behemoth sports venue are satisfied. I like the open space at 3 corners (plaza by Bearden park, and grass at both corners on 4th), as it helps add visibility for the streets as well as some diagonal movement to make it easy to get around when not in use. Further, the hotel is a decent midrise scale (9-stories), so help add some point of interest to the rebuilt 4th St. while not overpowering it all. It is also more of the style and scale of Gateway Village.

The 2-3 story facade on Graham, MLK, and Mint all appear very ped-friendly, and seem to have some accommodation for street retail along MLK (I hope this isn't just an illusion). Certainly the wide sidewalks are major plus necessity with so many pedestrians headed through this way to the Panthers and Knights

I sure hope the Knights are not fibbing about this round of funding being what makes it happen. I am back to being supportive of this. My primary hope is once this solidifies, the remaining parcels are obvious places for apartment or hotel developers pop up to finally take up some of the remaining parcels in the area.

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Here's another rendering of the ballpark... Have to say, I like it as well. The openness of it doesn't make it so much of a deadzone that I think many people feared. If you stick a few bars/restaurants or some kind of retail in there, this place is home run in my book (I was on the fence before). The hotel is just the right size too.

CharlotteKnights%20aerial%20view*900.jpg?v=2

Edited by dbull75

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I would LIVE in this ballpark if I could. But I can't...so I'll just give them my money 4-6 nights a week to hang out for a few hours.

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We'll miss the tailgating and the short (and easy!) drive from Ballantyne, but as long as it's still 8 bucks a ticket, I'm sure my family will still attend 2-3 games a year, as we do now. It *is* all shiny and new, isn't it? Love the look.

OMB has a huge presence in Ft Mill -- how about a special "microbrew" beer court, featuring OMB, NoDa, Birdsong, etc.? In the spirit of Charlotte kinship, yes?

Edited by grodney

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What's the deal with the hotel? Is it just speculative, or do they have a developer/interest already?

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