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Knights: We’ve met big condition for new ballpark

Charlotte KnightsManagement of the Charlotte Knights (Class AAA; International League) say they’ve scored two significant, long-term sponsorship agreements — agreements that were a condition of their new-ballpark deal with Mecklenburg County.

Providing such proof by March 31, 2012 was a condition required to maintain the validity of the Knights’ lease agreement with the county. The Knights have a deal with the county for an Uptown ballpark, but there are several conditions attached. One is beginning construction this year, with the ultimate goal of opening for the 2014 season.

“This development is a major milestone in the process to bring baseball home to the Center City and our Knights back to Charlotte,” said Michael J. Smith, President and CEO, Charlotte Center City Partners, in a press statement. “The partnership the Knights have forged with sponsors shows their private sector confidence and support for this project.”

“We are pleased to continue to move forward in securing professional baseball in the Center City of Charlotte,” said Knights VP/General Manager Dan Rajkowski in a press statement. “Our first and most important champions and partners – including both our private and public partners — will help lead this project to completion. We look forward to sharing more great news with the community in the very near future, as a public celebration.”

The Knights are seeking to finance the $55-million project mostly on their own; Mecklenburg County has already agreed to lease the uptown site for $1 annually and will pay the Knights $8 million for infrastructure improvements if the meets a series of conditions, including a 2012 start to construction, while the team has also asked the city for $11 million.

RELATED STORIES: Reese returns with another anti-Knights lawsuit; Economics of new Charlotte ballpark iffy: Mayor; Economic of new Charlotte ballpark questioned; Knights make economic case for city funding of new ballpark; Charlotte may help fund new Knights ballpark; More legal silliness in Charlotte; Back from the dead! Mecklenburg Co. moves forward with Knights ballpark; Rising from the ashes: A new Knights ballpark


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