Chamber formally supports bringing Knights uptown

Chamber formally supports bringing Knights uptown

Chamber formally supports bringing Knights uptown

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by ANDREW DUNN / The Charlotte Observer

WCNC.com

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 11 at 5:20 PM

The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce formally threw its support Wednesday behind bringing the Charlotte Knights minor-league baseball team uptown.

Chamber President Bob Morgan and Chairman Frank Emory wrote a letter endorsing the plan to the city council, which still must approve it. City staff recommended last week that the council put $9 million toward an uptown stadium, contingent upon it sparking further development.

Mecklenburg County is already leasing a $20 million piece of land that would be home to the stadium, and committed $8 million more for infrastructure. Under the county’s plan, the Knights would begin play uptown in 2014.

Charlotte Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble pitched the plan to the Chamber’s executive committee earlier this week.

“Based on his presentation we are confident that the proposal under consideration has substantial merit,” Morgan and Emory wrote in their letter. They said that the stadium deal would pose little risk while “providing a reasonable opportunity to help grow jobs and the tax base for benefit of the entire community.”

The Chamber said it is joining the “Bring Baseball Home” campaign launched by the Center City Partners.

The Charlotte Knights, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, currently play in Fort Mill, but have long desired a move back to the city. The team is planning a 10,000 seat stadium in Third Ward near Bank of America stadium.

The city’s economic development committee will consider the proposal again later this month. A vote by the full council has not yet been scheduled.

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