Charlotte Knights: Team is working 'feverishly' on stadium financing

Charlotte Knights: Team is working 'feverishly' on stadium financing

Credit: The Charlotte Observer

The future home of the Charlotte Knights off of South Graham St. in Uptown Charlotte on June 11, 2012.

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by APRIL BETHEA / The Charlotte Observer

WCNC.com

Posted on June 13, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Officials with the Charlotte Knights are working “feverishly” to finalize a deal to pay for its planned minor-league baseball stadium in Third Ward ahead of a June 30 deadline with the county, the team’s general manager said Wednesday.

Mecklenburg commissioners agreed last summer to extend a lease with the Knights for the new ballpark if the team met certain conditions. Among them, the team must submit a financing plan for the stadium to the county by month’s end.

Dan Rajkowski, who also serves as the team’s vice president, said the effort to line up money received a big boost after the Charlotte City Council agreed earlier this week on a $8 million subsidy toward the ballpark.

The city won’t pay the money upfront, though officials have said the subsidy could act as collateral while the Knights continued to line up financing for the project. The city deal includes $7.25 million from Mecklenburg’s hotel and motel occupancy tax and $750,000 from Charlotte Center City Partners.

Rajkowski said the baseball team had included the city’s contribution into a model it presented to potential lenders. He thanked council members for supporting the ballpark.

“It’s a significant move in the right direction,” Rajkowski said. “We understand it took a lot of courage to support that and we appreciate it.”

The Knights currently play in Fort Mill, S.C., but have long wanted to build a stadium in Charlotte.

The $54 million, 10,000-seat new ballpark is slated to be built on county-owned land between South Graham, West Fourth and South Mint streets and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

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