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Rowan County, Kannapolis continue spat over Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium

Kannapolis IntimidatorsRowan County would like to sell its share of Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium, home of the Kannapolis Intimidators (Low Class A; Sally League), to Kannapolis — or else buy out Kannapolis‘s share of the ballpark. But Kannapolis may not want to sell or buy. The continuing issues with what should be a treasured asset.

The ownership of Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium has been a contentious issue between the county and the city since the ballpark first opened in 2000: the two sides can’t really agree on the exact ownership split of the facility (Rowan County says it owns 75 percent, Kannapolis says the two sides have equal ownership) and have sparred over who should pick up operating costs.

So it sounds like Rowan County has had enough, with commissioners offering to sell its share of the ballpark to Kannapolis for $3 million. Or, if Kannapolis wants to sell, it will buy out the city for $750,000.

Of course, these figures are based on the assumption that Rowan County owns 75 percent of the ballpark. (Interesting math: Rowan County estimates its 75 percent of the ballpark is worth $3 million, but Kannapolis’s 25 percent is only worth $750,000.) Which is why Kannapolis isn’t too excited about either option and may choose neither.

“We are aware of this offer and will give both options their due consideration over the next few weeks,” Kannapolis City Manager Mike Legg wrote to the Salisbury Post. “The other option is to maintain the current ownership arrangement and find a way to continue to work together.”

The casualty in all of this, of course, is Smith Family Baseball, owner of the Intimidator. Brad Smith and crew have patiently worked the market in anticipation of high-tech industry moving in — something that’s happening. But with the two sides more interested in arguing than addressing basics like ballpark maintenance and improvements, a large dose of patience will be necessary.

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