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Knights pitch office development at ballpark

Charlotte KnightsThe Charlotte Knights (Class AAA; International League) are proposing a six-story office tower as well as a small expansion of fan space at BB&T Ballpark‘s left-field area.

The ballpark opened in 2014 and was a hit, catapulting the Knights to the top of MiLB attendance leaders. The team has continued to be a strong draw in Uptown Charlotte this season. A development has always been part of the team’s plans for BB&T Ballpark, but originally the team pitched a hotel for the left-field area. The current plan is for a mixed-used development in the space, complete with additional ballpark seating and expansion of concessions, per the Charlotte Business Journal:

The team holds development rights for a strip of property 90 feet wide and 400 feet long beyond the left-center-field wall. Earlier, the Knights discussed building a hotel there. Since then, plans have shifted to an office tower, likely six floors, with a rooftop viewing area. [Team CEO Dan] Rajkowski declined to disclose the name of the developer discussing a joint venture with the team to build the office building because the team and developer have not yet signed a contract….

The Knights also hope to build a ground-floor restaurant, to be open on both game days and non-game days, as part of the office building….

A banquet room, additional storage and office space for some of the team’s concessions staff are likely to be part of the team-backed office project. Design and construction will take two years. An underground parking deck with two levels and 250 spaces is also under consideration.

Using a ballpark as an anchor for additional development is the goal of many MLB and MiLB operators these days. SunTrust Park, the new home of the Atlanta Braves, will be surrounded by office space, while Durham Bulls Athletic Park, home of the Durham Bulls, has office buildings in outfield areas. Similarly, Sprint Communications Park, under construction in Columbia, S.C., will anchor mixed-use development in that city.

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