Knights Ballpark Brings Economic Boost to Uptown
CHARLOTTE, NC -- It's more than just the crack of the bat, the popcorn, the peanuts, and the Crackerjacks. Baseball's return to Uptown is good for business. Friday night may have been a long time in the making, but BB&T Ballpark is already a home run when it comes to economic impact.
The action on the field is measured in hits and runs, wins and losses. But baseball's impact on Charlotte is felt in many ways. "We're going to see 10,000 people, 70 games a year bringing positive energy to the streets of Charlotte," said Bob Morgan of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. "It's huge!"
New construction projects are revitalizing the area around the Ballpark: projects pumping money into the local economy, like the almost $95 million catalyst. More than $67 million in Element, $32 million in the Mint, $40 million invested in Woodfield, and almost $44 million in total project investment in Gateway West.
Charlotte City Partners says the numbers already outpace the cost of building the Ballpark. "Right now, we've got over a thousand units that are either under construction, or will be breaking ground shortly, and it's $250 million of new investment," said Michael Smith of Charlotte Center City Partners.
"There's a lot of surface parking lots around it," adds Morgan. "My guess is those aren't going to be around too long."
It all adds up to a major boost for surrounding business. Those 70 home games each season will bring thousands of fans to Uptown who are looking to enjoy all the city has to offer.
"With it right here, so proximal to so many of Charlotte's local residents, it's going to be a convenience factor," said Daniel Guffey of The Tin Kitchen.
"We love being downtown as it is," added Charlotte resident Chris McNulty. "So to add the Ballpark. We came from Atlanta where the ballpark is downtown anyways, and we spend a lot of time down there."
The BB&T Ballpark cost $54 million to build. It holds 10,000 baseball fans, and you won't find a bad seat in the house.