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Charlotte Knights to break ground for BB&T Ballpark
The Charlotte Knights will break ground on its baseball stadium, dubbed as BB&T Ballpark, in Charlotte, North Carolina on 14 September 2012.
Designed by Odell Associates, the new stadium is expected to cost $54 million. It will seat between 8,500 and 10,000, making it slightly smaller than the current stadium in Fort Mill. BB&T Ballpark will be designed to offer an intimate feel with views of Charlotte skyline, reports charlotteobserver.com.
Seating of the new ballpark will be designed to stretch almost around the entire length of the stadium. This will include two dugout suites behind home plate where the closest seats will be 45 feet from the catcher. It will feature a natural grass field.
The stadium has been designed to be pedestrian-friendly. People walking along Mint Street and other corridors will be able to watch games as they pass by. Picnic areas will also be located around the field. A two-storey “Home Run Porch” area will be featured at the new ballpark for people to stand during the game.
The planned uptown stadium is located within a few blocks of Bank of America Stadium, and will be across the street from the Romare Bearden Park now under construction.
The announcement for a new ballpark is expected to provide a boost to the city, including retail and multifamily housing. The stadium site itself allows scope of developing a hotel and restaurant. As per the team officials, the ballpark will also help secure the future of the Triple-A ball club, which has played for more than two decades in Fort Mill.
Work will begin on the site by 17 September and is expected to be finished in time for the 2014 season.
The City Council approved an $8 million subsidy that helped the Charlotte Knights team to secure financing for the project. Mecklenburg County is contributing $8 million, and will lease the team land for a year that has been valued at between $20 million and $24 million.
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