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Charlotte Knights AAA Ballpark in Third Ward


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In the case of Greensboro it was a county land swap too. Greensboro's stadium was around $25 million.

A number of AAA ballparks across the country are costing around $45 million which is why I thought $30 million was kinda low. If the county land is worth about $15 million than that would average about right.

And WCNC also says in their article that the county is pitching in $8 million in addition to the Knights paying $35 million so that comes out to $43 million. I know some of that is roads and infrastructure improvements but it's still $13 million more than the $30 million figure.

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Beautiful night. Accent and Barings/Kimpton looking great.      

The land under which the stadium was built was for a century or more an African American area of the (much smaller) city. The Isabella Wyche elementary school, the Third Ward recreation center and Goo

I see no reason why there can't be some cantilever of stands over Graham or Mint..... Also some (a lot) of corporate outfield suites and below some field level restaurants, bar standing areas wit

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Please do not reinforce the false perception that the county is spending any money on the stadium itself. All of that money is strictly going to infrastructure that is the responsibility of local goverment anyway, and either already part of the street plan for downtown or would have been needed to make that land a park. It goes to improving sidewalks and making one way roads into normal two way streets. It is simply prioritized now because it is needed sooner now with all the projects.

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That was the ground breaking for the stadium according to WCNC. Crews from Atlanta-based consulting firm Mactec started work at 9:30am.

WCNC has changed their story to say it's just soil sampling however they are still saying that the county is helping finance the stadium. I know that they are not paying for the stadium, just the infrastructure that was needed anyways, but that's what they are reporting.

Edited by Raintree21
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I actually would prefer we didn't refer to the TV news stories. Frankly, UP posters know far more detail and report far more factually than those stories. It always feels like those are stories auto-generated from a template, with slanted and misleading facts to meet the pre-determined perceptions of the archtypical white-flight family in the suburbs. It gets mighty old.

It is blatantly false that the county is funding the stadium. The county might be subsidizing the land or the county might be supporting the stadium by building sidewalks for county tax payers that show up at the games (as well as to the county park and the football stadium and to the train station and the federal courthouse and the countless other projects that are going on in this area generating far more tax revenue than these sidewalks and lane-paint will cost). But it would take far more difficulty to explain the nuances to the idiots that read their teleprompters on air, let alone take away from precious commercial time by actually explaining those nuances on air.

This is the 21st century, where we can bypass that very inefficient and often invalid source of old news by going straight to the blogosphere. This is now the third or fourth time in recent memory the facts that have already been established on UP have been tainted by false reporting by TV 'news'. Let's just skip that process.

Just my opinion, but I boycott those jokers for a reason, and I hate to see their stupidity bleed onto this board.

The county isn't funding this stadium, they are simply forgoing rent on the land in order to make the project happen, yielding higher tax proceeds from the increase in value for the whole area.

Can you imagine if WCNC sat at one of the banks and tried to report on a business deal in ultra-dumbed down black and white terms? "Today, WCNC has uncovered a scandal at a local bank uptown. Our sources have revealed that the bank has not paid as much interest to their customers as they make on the money in the account. The bank has used other investments to create what organized crime circles term 'profits'. These 'profits' have bilked YOU, their customers, out of BILLIONS of dollars in interest."

Back to the original point, I'm sure that WCNC doesn't even know that the county will pay back the $8m for the streets and sidewalks with tax money collected from the Knights on land that doesn't get any tax revenue right now. I bet other reports from WCNC have centered on how streets are under-funded in Charlotte. I guess this doesn't count, because it is spent downtown, where people are actually doing something with their lives at dinner time, so they aren't part of WCNC viewership.

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The Rezoning goes before the City Council on Monday. There will be a public hearing that night so anyone that wants to speak out on the Knights Baseball Stadium...this is your chance. The City Planning Staff has already put their stamp of approval on the latest site plan. They are requesting that the Planning Commision review and vote on the rezoning that night and they are also requesting City Council to vote on the Rezoning Monday night. Typically the vote is held a month after the hearing on a rezoning...not the same night.

I think the latest site plan for the stadium is one that I can support and is definately better than the first site plan with the diagonal parking on MLK. Suprisingly not a single person showed up for the Community Meeting for this rezoning.

I suspect that the City Council will approve this rezoning...however if they don't this would be a roadblock for the stadium being built at that site.

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This project really seems to be on cruise control at this point. The Rezoning Hearing was held tonight and there was no one signed up to speak in opposition to the baseball park site plan. The Planning Commision put this request on the fast track and heard this rezoning tonight. They voted to approve it. Originally the City Council was also set to vote on this rezoning tonight, however it was delayed a week so they could work out some storm water detention issues with the site. I suspect those stormwater issues are a result of the Knights wanting the feild to be below street level and the drainage problems that creates.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For those keeping track the Rezoning for the Baseball Stadium was unanimously approved by City Council earlier this week. Next step will be a Lease Agreement between the Knights and Meck County which will allow the Knights to begin construction. I believe that will be coming before the County Commission sometime in the next month.

The question mark that still remains is the lawsuit against the County by Jerry Reese.

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Because of the lawsuit with Jerry Resse and the intentional skipping of the county commision meeting last week by some republican commisioners this has been delayed till next week. They have to get the 3rd Ward Park approved before they can sign the lease with the Knights. And next week they are scheduled to vote on the 3rd Ward Park.

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  • 3 weeks later...

At the city council meeting last night, there was good news and bad news concerning the new ballpark: The good news is that the council voted to approve the letter of intent or whatever they called it, but the bad news is that, according to Bobby Shields, the ballpark will probably not be ready for the 2009 season. If true, that's a pretty big letdown for me. I'm still excited that baseball will be coming to uptown Charlotte, but if it won't be until 2010, that sort of removes the short term excitement from the equation. It was also exciting to imagine the triple whammy effect of a baseball park and two other parks being built within the next 18 months.

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At the city council meeting last night, there was good news and bad news concerning the new ballpark: The good news is that the council voted to approve the letter of intent or whatever they called it, but the bad news is that, according to Bobby Shields, the ballpark will probably not be ready for the 2009 season. If true, that's a pretty big letdown for me. I'm still excited that baseball will be coming to uptown Charlotte, but if it won't be until 2010, that sort of removes the short term excitement from the equation. It was also exciting to imagine the triple whammy effect of a baseball park and two other parks being built within the next 18 months.

I too am excited about this project, but I am actually happy with the 2010 date, it gives them plenty of time to make this ball park perfect, I can't wait to go see a knights game downtown!

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At the Mecklenburg County Commision meeting last night all they did was publish their intent to enter into a lease with the Charlotte Knights that would allow them to build the baseball stadium on County Land. The lease agreement is available online to anyone that wants to read it. The actual lease will not come up for County Commision approval until next month. If the lease is approved next month then the Knights will be able to start construction at that time.

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I too am excited about this project, but I am actually happy with the 2010 date, it gives them plenty of time to make this ball park perfect, I can't wait to go see a knights game downtown!

I agree with this. Although I love Knights games and would enjoy it more uptown (and would go more often for that matter) it did seem a bit rushed at the present timeline given how many delays there have been with the land deals, opposition, etc. Given the extra time padding, I think they can refine their designs and make it (hopefully) even better. Also they can further analyze the area and current population trends with the changing immediate enviornment of 3rd Ward.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The baseball park is on the site of the old Piedmont and Northern Railroad passenger depot. Passenger service was abandoned in 1951. The P&NC was an electrified interurban RR that ran from Charlotte west to Gastonia from 1912-1951.

PNPlatform.jpg

This remnant of the P&N Railroad Passenger Depot just below West 4th St. (picture of unknown date)

Edited by staffer
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Vote is set for tonight on approval of the Knights stadium in uptown. The article gives a little more detail on the lease and some of the conditions. Next step after approval is coming up with a plan for the stadium. The article still says 2009 as the opening date. Unless they have some super high speed construction crew, I'm not sure how they will build a stadium in 15 months. But, what do I know :rolleyes:
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It seemed to me that the 2009 was just a small background note in the article and not really an announcement that they are still likely to hit the 2009 season. I think it was previously noted that it is less of a likelihood, but I'm sure they are still trying for it if they can. Perhaps they even are compromising their goal to actually play the second half of their 09 season there or something. To me, the fact that they don't have a financing deal makes it a bit of a risk.

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My earlier comments were just based on what Bobby Shields said at the county commission meetings two weeks ago. Hopefully, a 2009 opening is still a possibillity, and the idea of opening in the middle of the season is an interesting one. It has happened plenty of times before with both major and minor league facilities around the nation. After all, just a few months ago they were still determined to play in 2009, so why couldn't they do it by mid season. The league would probably work with them to schedule a higher percentage of their home games in the last two months.

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I posted earlier that the Knights new ballpark site was the former passenger station for Charlotte's Interurban Piedmont and Northern RR that ran electrified service to Gastonia 1912-1951. I have some other history of that RR in another thread, but here is an interesting baseball related fact -- the opening day promotion on the rail line, May 20, 1912, was a combination rail/Charlotte Hornets vs Spartanburg Carolina League baseball ticket for a 4 pm game that day. They sold 1,500, and the 4,800 in attendance at the game was not only a Hornets attendance record, but also a Carolina League record at the time.

I've been corresponding with the Knights PR department today about the history of the site.

Does anyone know WHERE the team played the 1912 season? I can only find stadium sites back to 1937.

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