With it increasingly apparent that private financing isn’t possible for a new Charlotte Knights (Class AAA; International League) ballpark, Charlotte and Mecklenburg County are exploring public financing.
Any public money would not cover the entire cost of constructing a new ballpark in Charlotte’s Uptown area; past cost estimate have come in at $56 million, but it’s not clear how current that price tag is. The Knights have been pursuing an Uptown replacement for Knights Stadium for years now, but the changing economy (Charlotte is not the banking center it once was) and a series of dismissed lawsuits from a ballpark opponent have delayed the project.
Mecklenburg County has already tentatively approved spending $8 million on a ballpark and will provide the land for the project; now the city of Charlotte is looking at spending between $6 million and $11 million, with the team picking up the remainder of construction costs. Before the city approves the money, it will review a study from UNC-Charlotte economist John Connaughton on the economic impact of similar sports facilities.
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