A new downtown ballpark for the Kannapolis Intimidators (Low A; Sally League) could more than double the attendance for the team, according to a feasibility study to be considered by the City Council on Monday.
According to the report from consultants Brailsford & Dunlavey, a new downtown ballpark currently under consideration would raise attendance from 125,811 people (2013 attendance numbers were used) to 390,564 annually. From independenttribune.com:
The analysis showed that the CMC-Northeast Stadium had a total attendance of 125,811 people in 2013, with an average attendance of 1,906. But the study showed that under the right conditions, such as a downtown location that had a stadium with multi-purpose uses, such as concerts and business conferences that could go up to 390,564 people in attendance with an average of 5,744 people per game.
In March 2014, the city council began discussing the possibility of relocating the Intimidators stadium downtown. The minor league baseball stadium is located off I-85 north of Lane Street on the Rowan County side of the city. Kannapolis bought the stadium’s equity in 2011, and officials said the time has come to consider future needs.
The talk about a new downtown ballpark is a realization that Intimidators Stadium is a limited, dead-end facility. It was jointly built in 1995 by the Rowan County-Kannapolis Regional Sports Authority, attracting a team that relocated from Spartanburg, S.C. The city acquired full ownership of the ballpark in 2012. The stadium currently seats 4,700. Average per game attendance in 2015 was 2,056, with a total season attendance of 135,727 – a 10 percent increase from 2014.
However, Intimidators Stadium suffers from a lack of available nearby land, meaning that it’s not really possible to be the core of any future development. And with downtown ballparks having a good track record as being part of future development — i.e., Fort Wayne — including a new ballpark as part of a larger downtown development has its appeal.
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