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Knights move closer to building stadium

The Charlotte Knights are closer to building a stadium in uptown Charlotte now that Mecklenburg County commissioners have agreed to keep the project moving forward.

But the project will need additional approval from commissioners before it becomes a reality.

After a recommendation from the commission’s economic development committee, the board voted 7-1 Tuesday to have county staff put together paperwork for a resolution on the stadium to be voted on at the commissioners’ July 12 meeting.

Commissioner Bill James voted in opposition to the stadium. Commissioner Neil Cooksey was absent.

The county owns the uptown site that the Triple-A team wants to use to build the project. The deal stipulates that by Aug. 31 the Knights must deposit $100,000 into an escrow account toward its obligation for county legal fees.

By March, the Knights must present two sponsors for the project or deposit another $100,000 into the escrow account. By  June 2012, the Knights must present a financing plan and not ask for any county money for stadium construction. By October 2012, primary construction must begin.

“This is an opportunity not just for construction jobs on a $50 million ballpark, but to create sustainable jobs for years to come and an affordable outlet for families,” Commissioner Harold Cogdell said.

Scott Baughman can be reached at scott.baughman@mecktimes.com.

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