CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Knights plan to give their fans a view of the uptown Charlotte skyline that will be hard to beat next spring.
“You don’t get a better view anywhere in the country,” Knights Chief Operating Officer Dan Rajkowski said Monday at a stadium tour for season ticket holders, sponsors and prospective ticket buyers.
Located just a few blocks from the Carolina Panthers’ Bank of America Stadium, the Knights’ new BB&T Ballpark looks out toward the skyline. Construction on the $54 million stadium began last October and is on schedule to be completed by the end of this year in time for the Knights’ 2014 season.
About halfway complete after last week’s topping out ceremony, the stadium is taking shape but still has a lot of detail work to go, Rajkowski said. Some of those details include 59,045 bricks, 12 miles of electrical wire and 10,000 yards of concrete.
The ballpark will be able to accommodate more than 10,000 fans, including 175 in its open-air upper deck club, 4,000 season-ticket seats in the lower deck along the first- and third-base lines and 350 general-admission seats in left field. Lower-level seats will extend no more than 21 rows back, creating an intimate feel for the crowd, Rajkowski said.
The concourse will wrap around the stadium, with a kids’ play area behind right field. A 30-by-80-foot video board will be located in left-center field.
The “Home Run Porch” restaurant and social area will overlook right field. Rajkowski said he expects an atmosphere comparable to the EpiCenter on a Thursday night.
Future developments include an extended-stay hotel and office facility behind left field.
The team’s uptown upgrade has drawn increased interest from businesses, Rajkowski said. Thirteen of the stadium’s 17 suites available for annual rental have already been sold to corporations like Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Carolinas HealthCare System.
The Knights also expect the new stadium to increase fan interest next season. Rajkowski said he hopes to see more than 600,000 fans a year at BB&T.
He predicted the stadium will make a $66 million economic development impact on the community in its first year.
In its current 10,000-seat stadium in Fort Mill, the team drew about 8,000 fans last weekend, Rajkowski said.
“It’s hard to keep focused on this year with the prize down the road,” he said.
The Knights sit in third place in the International League South division, just past the midway point in their final season in Fort Mill, S.C.