Knights, City Council continue debate over uptown stadium

Knights, City Council continue debate over uptown stadium

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by NewsChannel 36 Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 5 at 6:51 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte Knights and City Council continued negotiations over a proposed uptown ballpark on Wednesday.

The Knights said they've received commitments from two corporate partners, a requirement to continue discussions about a new ballpark in uptown Charlotte.

The names of the two businesses were not released, but the Knights say the long-term sponsorship agreements help move the stadium project in the right direction.  The team was required to show proof of two partners by March 31 to maintain validity of the Knights’ lease agreement with Mecklenburg County.

Meanwhile, the team asked for $11 million from taxpayers to help fund the stadium, and team owner Don Beaver said the change would create a $38 million economic impact.

But City Council members have voiced concerns about noise and traffic for residents in the area and concerns over where the money would come from. City Council countered Wednesday, saying they were willing to give $9 million toward the stadium.

That $9 million would come from the three percent hotel/motel occupancy tax and an economic development grant.

A City Council economic committee is expected to vote on the recommendation in two weeks before it will be considered by the full City Council.

If approved, the Knights and the public would split the $74 million cost for the ballpark.

The Knights have already built a symbolic home plate on the property and are currently working on designs for the stadium.   They hope to start construction in October of this year and actually play ball in April 2014.

The Charlotte Observer contributed to this article.

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