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Friday, Sep 19th

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Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium / Kannapolis Intimidators

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Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium / Kannapolis Intimidators
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Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium, home of the Kannapolis Intimidators, has been a bright spot in a community that's seen more than its share of setbacks in recent years. Now, with the local economy on the verge of a return thanks to biotech firms moving into the area, the Intimidators can potentially reap the profits of their patience; in the meantime, you have a ballpark maintained by local owners with lots of TLC.


Year Opened: 1995
Capacity: 4,700
Dimensions: 330L, 410C, 310R
Phone: 704/932-FANS
League: South Atlantic League (Low Class A)
Affiliation: Chicago White Sox
Ticket Prices: Reserved Seats, $8 adults, $7 children and seniors; General Admission, $6 adults, $5 children and seniors
Parking: $1 parking in a large adjoining lot.
Address/Directions: 2880 Moose Rd., Kannapolis. The ballpark is located on the eastern edge of Kannapolis. From U.S. Highway 85, take exit 63 and head west on Lane Street. The Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium entrance is 0.4 miles on the right.

Really, there's nothing wrong with Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium. As far as Class A ballparks go, it's OK. It's located outside central Kannapolis, which means easy access for those driving in on the freeway but ensures there's virtually no foot traffic to the park. It's an intimate ballpark, as fans are fairly close to the action, but there's little in the way of amenities (few shaded areas, few concession stands) and little in the way of architectural note past the ballpark's front facade, designed to be evocative of the textile-mill buildings in downtown Kannapolis.

We've revised our thinking about Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium since our initial visit. There are some charming aspects to the ballpark and, more importantly, the ballpark and the team are run by local owners who show a lot of TLC toward both.

Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium is built in a bowl, so you enter on a concourse level through the mill facade and make your way down to your seating. The press box is located behind home plate, and the luxury boxes are located down the first-base line in the building that also contains the main entrance, the administrative offices and the team store. A separate concession facility is located far behind home plate, with the press box blocking a view of the playing field if you happen to be stuck in a long line.

One other thing that was mildly disappointing about the ballpark and the game: there was very little emphasis on the racing tie-in. The team is named for local hero Dale Earnhardt -- the Intimidator, who owned a part of the team before he was killed in a car crash and thus never saw his team play -- and NASCAR racing is obviously very big in North Carolina. In recent years the team has played up the connection to Earnhardt, to good effect.