Another success story on the development front: the Charlotte Knights (Class AAA; International League) open their sixth season at BB&T Ballpark with a public celebration of the ballpark’s impact on Uptown Charlotte.
According to a press release from the team, the Opening Night ceremonies will include remarks by Center City Partners President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Smith, representatives of a dozen developments surrounding BB&T Ballpark, and a ceremonial first pitch by Knights Principal Owner Don Beaver. Smith and Beaver were two of the visionaries who pitched the ballpark and the adjacent Romare Bearden Park project as potential catalysts for major development. The vision has become reality with upwards of $750 million of growth occurring in the nearby Uptown Charlotte wards since 2014.
Naming rights partner, BB&T, and the ballpark’s other founding partners – Atrium Health, Duke Energy, and Piedmont Natural Gas — will be recognized for helping making BB&T Ballpark possible in the pregame ceremony. In addition, several entities including development companies, residential properties, and restaurants will be represented. The festivities will also pay tribute to the roles that Center City Partners, the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA), the Greater Charlotte Hospitality and Tourism Alliance (HTA), and the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance (combination of the former Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and Charlotte Regional Partnership) have played in Uptown’s rapid growth.
“When new ballpark projects are proposed around the country, the hope is that they will help spur further development with new and existing properties,” said Dan Rajkowski, Knights Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “In some communities, that hope doesn’t always get realized as quickly due to a variety of factors. We’re fortunate here in Charlotte to have had several leaders with a vision and ability to make it happen on a large scale in a relatively short period of time.”
The Knights host the Durham Bulls tonight at 7:04 p.m. at BB&T Ballpark.