Work toward a new ballpark for the Kannapolis Intimidators (Low A; Sally League) continues, as the City of Kannapolis approved a project-related expenditure.
The highlight of the vote was the approval of funds for architectural designs, as the City Council allotted $2.4 million for that end of the project. It marks another step in Kannapolis, where a new 4,000-seat downtown ballpark for the Intimidators is being proposed as part of a broader redevelopment initiative.
Over the last several months, a few objectives about the project have become clear. In addition to providing the Intimidators with a more modern venue than Intimidators Stadium, the city is trying to boost downtown development. Incorporating the ballpark is viewed as a key initiative in that objective, and city officials have been in discussions with Populous about how the facility could be tied into the surrounding area. More from the Independent Tribune:
Now, officials are looking at locating the stadium where K-Town Furniture is located, placing it close to the Gem Theatre and the North Carolina Research Campus.
By having the stadium on the north end of town, it puts the complex near established properties, such as the Gem Theatre, which can help spark interest in renovating properties closest to the complex, officials previously said.
At earlier meetings officials showed visitors a market analysis for the area and showed that a minor league baseball stadium could bring 280,000 visitors to downtown Kannapolis a year. The stadium could cost around $37 million to build, but officials said it could lead to $26 million worth of “adjacent” private development.
Populous has worked on around 130 ballpark projects, including Southwest University Park, in El Paso, Texas; JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla.; Yankee Stadium in Bronx, N.Y.; and Spirit Communications Park in Columbia, S.C.
The $2.4 million contract was approved on Monday. Under the timeline reported by the Independent Tribune, construction on the ballpark could begin next summer, allowing the facility to open in 2019.
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