The Kannapolis Intimidators (Low Class A; Sally League) are set to sign a new lease for Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium for $1 per year, with the team picking up maintenance costs.
The five-year lease calls for the city to pick up maintenance costs for the first three years, shifting to Smith Family Baseball for the final two years as well as two five-year extensions, bringing the total length of the lease to 15 years. Deferred spending on needed items like netting and roofing will be addressed by the city.
In a way, the team is being rewarded for its patience while the city and Rowan County fought over control of the ballpark: the team paid more than $50,000 annually based on a complicated payment system ($50,000 base rent and $.65 per ticket sold, plus a percentage of parking and concession proceeds), and the city and county were responsible for ballpark maintenance. The two government entities have owned Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium since it opened in 1995 but sparred over the actual ownership split and who was responsible for maintenance and improvements. The spat has continued for years, but last summer Rowan County Commissioners offered to either buy out Kannapolis or sell its share to the city for $3 million. Kannapolis opted to buy the ballpark and work out a new lease with Smith Family Baseball.
The new lease also gives naming rights to the Intimidators, with the current Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium deal expiring. We could see a new name in coming weeks.
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