BB&T Ballpark (Charlotte)
|Location||424 West Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
Charlotte, North Carolina 28202
|Operator||Knights Baseball, LLC|
|Field size||Left field: 330 feet (100 m)
Center field:400 feet (120 m)
Right Field:315 feet (96 m)
|Broke ground||September 14, 2012|
|Opened||March 22, 2014|
|Construction cost||$54 million|
|Architect||Odell Associates, Inc. in association with BallparkDesignAssociates|
|Services engineer||Smith Seckman Reid, Inc.|
|General contractor||Barton Malow/R. J. Leeper/Rodgers|
|Charlotte Knights (IL) (2014–present)|
An Uptown stadium for the Knights had been a long-running saga in Charlotte, occasionally the subject of contentious debate. Since the dawn of the new millennium, the Knights had consistently had the worst attendance in the International League. Their stadium at the time, Knights Stadium, was located in Fort Mill, South Carolina, 30 minutes south of Uptown Charlotte. Many fans were unwilling to brave the traffic on Interstate 77 to get there.
The project had been repeatedly blocked by Jerry Reese, a Charlotte lawyer who claimed the land swap was illegal. Reese had ambitions to move a Major League Baseball team to Charlotte and viewed a Triple-A sized stadium for the Knights as a detriment.
In August 2006 the stadium became the source of more debate, as Mecklenburg County commission chairman Parks Helms said he would stall an arts project until the Charlotte City Council looked at a proposal he backed to bring baseball to Uptown.
Furthermore, it could expand the Atlantic Coast Conference's plans to return the Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Tournament to Charlotte. The ACC tournament had been held at Knights Stadium until the NCAA's ban on South Carolina having predetermined championships took effect because of NAACP pressure in relation to the boycott of the state by the organization.
On April 23, 2012, it was announced that BB&T acquired the naming rights for the new ballpark. The terms of the deal were undisclosed and the ballpark will be officially referred to as BB&T Ballpark indefinitely.
The stadium features a two-level club with skyline views as well as a VIP, climate-controlled club with full service bar. In total, there are 975 club seats and 22 luxury suites at the ballpark.
It is thought to be slightly friendlier to hitters than typical minor-league parks. Knights general manager Scotty Smith said that due to the limited lot size, the foul lines are a few feet shorter than minor-league guidelines.
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- Bethea, April (September 14, 2012). "Knights Break Ground on Stadium to Bring Baseball Back to Charlotte". The Charlotte Observer. p. 1B. Archived from the original on November 24, 2012. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
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- Lyttle, Steve (April 23, 2012). "BB&T, Knights Agree on Uptown Ballpark Rights". The Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
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- Spanberg, Erik (February 4, 2014). "Retail, Office Towers, Hotels Top Uptown Charlotte's To-Do List". Charlotte Business Journal. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
- Weinrib, Ben (July 31, 2013). "Charlotte Knights Announce Date for First Uptown Game at BB&T Ballpark". The Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
- "Triple-A All-Star Game Results (2013–2017)". Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
- "Club Seats". Charlotte Knights at Uptown. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- Spanburg, Erik (July 5, 2013). "BB&T Ballpark Is Reshaping Charlotte Knights Franchise". Charlotte Business Journal. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
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