CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Knights broke ground Friday on their new stadium in uptown.
On Thursday night the club played in 'The Castle,' their stadium current Fort Mill stadium -- their home since 1990.
In a championship series game against Pawtucket, the stands were far from filled. Many of the fans that were there are from South Carolina but said they will follow the Knights uptown.
"I have no choice," said long-time fan Bill Sinclair, as he ate a hot dog waiting for the game to start. "I'd rather have them stay here but since they are going there."
The new stadium, to be called BB&T Ballpark, became a reality last June after years of twists and legal turns.
The Charlotte City Council the County Commission both voted to kick in $8 million each in subsidies so the team could secure financing.
Over at The French Quarter restaurant, owner George Photopoulos said he hoped the stadium would generate enough new business to allow him to stay open on weekends when there are home games.
"It's a big deal," he said. "I think it will bring more people over to this side of town."
The new ballpark will seat fewer people than the old Castle and while the Castle was far from filled for Thursday night's game, those who said they were true fans seemed more then willing to look forward to Charlotte.
"I'm 80 now," said Tom Caldwell, who has been a season ticket holder for 12 years. "So if I don't die first, I'll be there."
The new stadium is expected to be finished for the start of the 2014 season.