BB&T Ballpark Update
It has been over 13 months since the Charlotte Knights broke ground on BB&T Ballpark! Yes, that’s right, it has been one year and one month since construction crews took the first step in building the team’s new Uptown Charlotte home.
I think back to the groundbreaking ceremony often. It feels like just yesterday that the Knights held that ceremony at the site of their new ballpark. It was September 14, 2012. Time flies when you are having fun!
Hundreds of people turned out to be a part of history that day, as the Knights officially broke ground, which signified that the team was moving back home.
The Knights spent 25 years in Fort Mill (24 in Knights Stadium). Now, the Charlotte Knights are moving back to Charlotte.
Here’s a quick history lesson for you… The Charlotte O’s became the Charlotte Knights in 1988 and the club played their only season in Charlotte as the “Knights” that season. The team then moved across the state line to Fort Mill, South Carolina and played at a temporary facility in 1989 as they waited for their castle to be built. They opened Knights Castle in 1990 and played 24 seasons there (through the 2013 season).
How’s that for a history lesson?
Over the past 13 months, the Knights have held numerous press conferences and construction crews have worked tirelessly. A ballpark brick program was introduced, a logo for BB&T Ballpark was unveiled, season tickets and suites were put on sale, and many people have anxiously taken a tour of the site.
Over the past few months, things have really picked up — and visually — the ballpark has really taken shape. It looks like a ballpark!
Remember when the ballpark site looked like this?
That photo was taken on October 3, 2012. At that point, the site had a road between it, as well as the Virginia Paper Company Building in the middle of it. That building was demolished and the road was ripped up. It was a fun process to watch the two “sites” become one.
In fact, if you haven’t been watching the process, I urge you to log-on to our website http://www.charlotteknights.com and check out our 24/7 BB&T Ballpark webcam.
You can also use this link here to watch progress of our new home:
Last week, the Knights announced plans to install the widest videoboard in all of Minor League Baseball. The announcement was made at Romare Bearden Park and it included representatives from Toshiba and TSE. Both will be major partners of the Knights on the videoboard project.
You can read all about the videoboard project here:
Widest Videoboard in BB&T Ballpark to be Installed at BB&T Ballpark.
Check out the rendering of the videoboard (pictured, right).
The press conference received great media attention and the excitement for Opening Day (April 11, 2014) continues to build each day. Local media members, as well as national media members covered the event and the reaction from the fans has been very positive. Who doesn’t want to be able to see everything going on from a mammoth videoboard?
This week, construction crews took a few more majors step in the process of building the ballpark.
What is one thing every ballpark needs… SEATS!
Beginning on Monday, October 14, crews started to install seat frames for all of the seats at the ballpark. Before you know it, BB&T Ballpark will be filled with seats and season ticket holders will have a chance to pick their seats in January. Seating capacity for BB&T Ballpark is over 10,000!
For more information about 2014 BB&T Ballpark season tickets, check out this link:
One other development over this past week has been the field. You can see from the latest photo (below center) that there is now red clay on the pitcher’s mound and basepaths. If you build it…
Groundskeepers took over possession of the field on Monday (October 14) and have been working on building it ever since. There is a lot that goes into the building of a professional baseball field. I can’t wait to see grass on it!
As I was writing this blog, one other update to report. As of 5:00 PM on October 17, the field lights at BB&T Ballpark were turned on for the first time. This has been a week of milestones at BB&T Ballpark. It gets more exciting by the day. Stay tuned for more updates over the next few months. The Knights are coming home!