LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

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.

Read or Share this story: http://www.wcnc.com/story/sports/baseball/knights/2014/06/30/10882984/