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Charlotte Knights AAA Ballpark in Third Ward


dubone

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What in, they don't have any money to build a new stadium, do you not believe? Have they made a different statement on the matter. The actual quote from the general manager on this is posted above. The county has also walked away from it's part of this project. It says it will not fund any capital project that has already not started for the next 16 months. They have also taken the money that was alloted to this project and moved it elsewhere. This was also posted above.

I simply said unless there's another site they have in mind you won't hear anything from the Knights. That doesn't specifically mean they have money lined up. It could mean another potential site. It could mean another loan that includes a site... It's not something that came from anyone's mouth other than mine as I think it's a better idea than waiting on Reese to stop appealing cases.

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There are no injunctions issued by the court to stop them from proceeding. They can have a ground breaking tomorrow if they want. However the politics have turned away from the public paying for this sort of thing and Reese is being used as the scapegoat for all of the politicians to back out of the deal, quietly. They are eating a lot of crow now on LYNX, the NASCAR HOF, CMS cutbacks, etc etc. Last thing they want is to be seen enabling another sports arena with tax money, even one that is as convoluted as this one to hide this fact. The people know what they are doing.

I fully believe that if this had been two years ago, the CCCP and the Knights would have started the project then all of a sudden discovered the Knights needed more money, and they would have pulled it from taxes instead. This formula has been repeated endlessly by the uptown interests to get stuff built. The wrench in their plan is the economy and this is why it isn't happening.

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Money aside, I still hope this happens. Bringing more entertainment Uptown only helps the city and its' goals. Maybe the Knights will postpone for a year or two. I also follow what is happening in Richmond and it is the same back and forth crap. I love how long it takes some cities to get stuff done. Either build the stadium or pull the freakin plug!!

Anyway, I still hope the city or some private developer builds the adjacent urban park. There are way too many surface lots in this area of Uptown.

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Money aside, I still hope this happens. Bringing more entertainment Uptown only helps the city and its' goals. Maybe the Knights will postpone for a year or two. I also follow what is happening in Richmond and it is the same back and forth crap. I love how long it takes some cities to get stuff done. Either build the stadium or pull the freakin plug!!

Anyway, I still hope the city or some private developer builds the adjacent urban park. There are way too many surface lots in this area of Uptown.

You're not alone... With many other people I know, I'm anxious for the day when I can walk to a game from my place, or take a short lynx ride up there. I've seen what is proposed in Richmond, Va and it's actually pretty cool looking. I think here it would fit more in the South End area though, which isn't a bad location either.

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I am cool with either area. They just need to get it out of SC so more fans will attend the game. It would be nice to go to a bar or restuarant within walking distance after a game. Plus, you could see a small rise in Lynx ridership, which is a win for transit numbers.

I still cannot believe Gwinnet Co. built their stadium in almost a year.

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You're not alone... With many other people I know, I'm anxious for the day when I can walk to a game from my place, or take a short lynx ride up there. I've seen what is proposed in Richmond, Va and it's actually pretty cool looking. I think here it would fit more in the South End area though, which isn't a bad location either.

I like the South End idea. There is alot of land avaliable and the design could be expanded to a pro park. Plus there are thousand of apts. going up around the light rail.

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In terms of Reece...what if all of us had the time, money, and ability to block any single particular project because of personal reasons and convictions? There has never been evidence he has much of a following or many supporters (of course I realize he has some -- but nowhere near a majority unless they are completely silent). If we could all block whatever we specifically didn't like nothing would ever get done -- someone is always against something. I wish this single guy would get off his personal mission and let the process move forward or not.

At some point the public and the local gov't should be given a go regardless of how many lawsuits one man wants to toss out there.

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^The only evidence that we have ever had on support or lack of for this plan was when the public voted for a bond package that specifically forbid spending on a baseball at this location. This was the only time the public was ever asked about the matter. The current plan was a perversion of that vote and earned them a lawsuit.

Nobody has ever polled the public on their opinion of the land swap deal. It is my guess they would vote it down too.

There is nothing to stop them from building this project now except for the lack of political will and of course money.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The Charlotte Knights are in talks with York County officials to extent their lease at the SC stadium for 3 years (or potentially longer). There is currently an option in the contract to extend it for 2010, but that won't happen according to York county since they want a long term agreement. To me this means one of two things: 1) The Knights are going to wait out the economy for the next year or so, so that they can get a new loan in place. In addition, this will allow the dust to settle with the Reese lawsuits. 2) The Knights may be thinking of bagging the whole uptown stadium for the foreseeable future and work with what they have. The Knights have until the end of 2011 to build the stadium per their lease agreement with Mecklenburg County.

Edited by dbull75
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  • 1 month later...

Apparently one approach that may be discussed once the season is over, is the potential of a private/public partnership in building the stadium. Since the cost has risen from $35 mill to $60 mill in the last few years, it's not feasible at this point for the Knights to build the stadium by themselves. Which I tend to agree with. $35 million was probably doable privately. However, I just don't see how they could privately build it for $60 mill. I would be interested to see what this "partnership" would entail. Mecklenburg County of course has no room in their budget to help out. Raising any kind of taxes in this environment would not work. The Knights are going to look at all their options to see what they can do to make this work. At this point, they just need a "White Knight" (no pun intended) to pick up some of this tab... Of course something that may work in their favor is that a construction company that wants to do the project may come in on the low end of this price range, so $60 mill may not necessarily be the price either.

Edited by dbull75
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I told you they would be back looking for a lot more money from the "public". When the "private" part is added, expect a shell game to come to rival that of the most talented crooks. If it wasn't for the fact the governments are out of money, they would have already put this one on the books.

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I told you they would be back looking for a lot more money from the "public". When the "private" part is added, expect a shell game to come to rival that of the most talented crooks. If it wasn't for the fact the governments are out of money, they would have already put this one on the books.

I was simply stating the fact that this "may" be the approach they are taking. And to be clear, I don't think taxpayers should be funding this either, especially given the economic climate. However, I'm not here to debate the politics of this situation or to be part of a "I told you so" discussion. Just stating information I read... The purpose of the UP board, at least what I thought, was to have dialogue that's meaningful about the community you live in or have interest in. "I told you so" posts are not. This just adds to my hesitation to post more frequently...

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..... "I told you so" posts are not. This just adds to my hesitation to post more frequently...
My comment was not directed at you personally. However if you don't want to post here don't expect me to try and convince you otherwise.

I thought you were referring to the plan that was printed this week to attempt to convince the M&S this ship had not sunk. IMO, I would not have been surprised if they had started the original plan, found the Knights had a bad business plan, and the city/county/whatever would have had to cover the difference. Bait and Switch. This city is littered with such projects and it happens almost every time one of these private/public deals gets discussed.

It's obvious the Knights don't have the resources to build a baseball stadium. Reese did the city a favor by putting enough brakes on this deal to expose it for what it was. The only way this thing gets built is if the government pays for most if not all of it.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Not sure if this was worthy of a new topic as it's nothing concrete as of yet... So, I will post this here.

According to a blog posting on Charlotte Biz Journals, it appears Jerry Reese has hired a planning and design firm to come up with a proposal for redeveloping about 80 acres of land in Fort Mill that includes the current Knights stadium. He wants to buy the land in the near term and redevelop it with rec fields, office, retail, movie theaters, bowling alley, etc. As part of the deal he would allow the Knights to remain there until he is able to land an MLB team (umm, ok). Upon doing so, he would then build an MLB baseball stadium and convert the Knights stadium to an MLS stadium. So I guess he wants an MLS franchise now too? He gives no estimated costs, timelines etc, other than saying this 80 acre project would be built out over 8-10 years. This proposal is said to be completed in 60 days. So, I'm guessing we would get more info then... Of course he seems to think "investors would be interested" in this plan. I could maybe see this development happening, possibly he could refurb the Knights stadium too, but I'm still not understanding the logic of an MLB team, and now MLS.

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^ Either he has a leprechaun in his pocket, or he has some serious delusions-of-grandeur. Either way, I give him credit coming up with this stuff. If he ever succeeds, he will be called a genius (a very rich genius).

*foot-note: I'd say anyone who feels they are carrying the well-being of an entire city on their shoulders and is willing to sue anything that moves must have some delusions-of-grandeur.

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http://charlotte.bizjournals.com/charlotte.../24/story1.html

Looks like Fort Mill will be playing hard ball (pun :) ) to get the Knights into a long term lease. Inexplicably, Jerry Reese wants to buy some land around the Fort Mill stadium for development.

http://charlotte.bizjournals.com/charlotte.../24/story2.html

We all knew this project was on hold and in jeopardy because of the economy and lawsuits, but it looks like the Knights could be forced into a long term agreement to stay in Fort Mill.

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http://charlotte.bizjournals.com/charlotte.../24/story1.html

Looks like Fort Mill will be playing hard ball (pun :) ) to get the Knights into a long term lease. Inexplicably, Jerry Reese wants to buy some land around the Fort Mill stadium for development.

http://charlotte.bizjournals.com/charlotte.../24/story2.html

We all knew this project was on hold and in jeopardy because of the economy and lawsuits, but it looks like the Knights could be forced into a long term agreement to stay in Fort Mill.

Yea, I'm pretty much of the opinion that the uptown stadium is forever toast. At least in terms of the original plan for 3rd Ward. I can't say I blame York County either. One way or the other, I hope that the stadium deal is taken care after the season is over so that way all parties can move on. Then Mecklenburg can hopefully do something with the land.

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