Knights Stadium

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Knights Stadium
The Castle
CharlotteKnightsStadium.jpg
Former names Knight's Castle
Location 2280 Deerfield Drive
Fort Mill, SC 29715
Coordinates 35°3′9″N 80°57′16″W / 35.05250°N 80.95444°W / 35.05250; -80.95444Coordinates: 35°3′9″N 80°57′16″W / 35.05250°N 80.95444°W / 35.05250; -80.95444
Owner York County
Operator Charlotte Knights Baseball, LLC
Capacity 10,002
Field size Left Field — 326 feet
Center Field — 400 feet
Right Field — 325 feet
Surface Grass
Construction
Broke ground February 20, 1989[1]
Opened April 5, 1990
Closed September 2, 2013
Construction cost $12 million[2]
($21.7 million in 2014 dollars[3])
Architect Odell Associates Inc.[2]
Structural engineer Geiger Engineers[4]
General contractor McDevitt & Street Construction Co.[5]
Tenants
Charlotte Knights (SL/IL) (1990–2013)
ACC Tournament (2000-2001)
Big South Tournament (1997-1998)

Knights Stadium was the home of the International League's Charlotte Knights from 1990 to 2013. It sat 10,002 fans. The park was actually across the state line from Charlotte, North Carolina in Fort Mill, South Carolina. The stadium closed at the end of the 2013 season and the Knights moved to BB&T Ballpark in downtown Charlotte for the 2014 season.

Knights Stadium is easily accessible from Interstate 77. Exit 88 (Gold Hill Road) connects the expressway with the stadium. Near the stadium is a water tower painted to resemble a baseball on a tee, which can be seen from Interstate 77.

History[edit]

The stadium was built to Major League Baseball specifications to be used should Charlotte land a major league team, and was designed to expand to 40,000 seats.

During construction, the Knights, then a member of the Class AA Southern League, played in an 8,000-seat temporary stadium known as Knights Castle. The present stadium was originally known as Knights Castle, but was renamed to Knights Stadium in the late 1990s. The stadium was still known among Charlotteans as The Castle.[citation needed]

The venue hosted the 1997 and 1998 Big South Conference Baseball Tournaments, won by UNC Greensboro and Liberty, respectively.[6] It also hosted the 2000 and 2001 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Tournaments, won by Georgia Tech and Wake Forest, respectively.[7]

On July 4, 2007, a franchise record 15,427 fans attended the game between the Knights and the Durham Bulls.[8]

The stadium hosted its last Knights game on September 2, 2013, a 4-0 Knights victory over the Gwinnett Braves. [9] After the game, several longtime employees dug up home plate and each of the bases and presented them to team mascot Homer the Dragon. Homer then saluted Knights Stadium one last time, and boarded a helicopter bound for Uptown Charlotte and BB&T Ballpark.[10] In June, York County sold the land to Cato Corporation, a Charlotte-based retailer of women's fashions and accessories. The contract Cato signed permits them to use the land for any industrial, commercial or residential purpose. The stadium will be demolished within a year.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Knights' Shinn Ready to Break More Ground". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. February 10, 1989. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Cal Harrison (September 2, 1989). "Pinstripes to Adorn Knights Stadium". The Herald (Rock Hill). Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  3. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  4. ^ "Karen Allen Lynch, P.E.". Geiger Engineers, P.C. Retrieved September 29, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Rain Temporary Setback at Stadium". The Charlotte Observer. October 10, 1989. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  6. ^ "2011 Big South Baseball Record Book". Big South Conference. pp. 20–22. Archived from the original on February 18, 2012. Retrieved February 18, 2012. 
  7. ^ "2012 ACC Baseball Guide". Atlantic Coast Conference. Archived from the original on May 29, 2012. Retrieved May 29, 2012. 
  8. ^ "IL News and Notes". International League. July 5, 2007. Retrieved July 5, 2007. 
  9. ^ http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/09/02/4283167/charlotte-knights-close-out-era.html#.UiaId2TwJZ8
  10. ^ http://www.heraldonline.com/2013/09/03/5169344/fans-turn-out-for-last-game-before.html

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Knights Castle
Home of the
Charlotte Knights

1990 – 2013
Succeeded by
BB&T Ballpark