The Charlotte Knights have secured another sponsor for their proposed ballpark uptown.
Piedmont Natural Gas announced Monday it has signed a long-term agreement with the team to become the first founding partner of the baseball stadium. That deal would include signage and other promotional opportunities, beginning with the Knights first season in the new stadium.
It remains unclear whether the ballpark will actually be built. The team has said it needs city help to build the stadium in Third Ward, which will cost $74 million, including $28 million from Mecklenburg County.
The Charlotte City Council is considering giving the team $8.5 million toward the project, but has not yet committed to the subsidy. Some members have said they believe the team could spend more of its own money on the stadium. Others questioned the timing, while still others have spoken favorably about the project.
We understand important decisions still need to be made, but Piedmont looks forward to supporting what we believe will be an economic development home run for Charlotte and the region, the Charlotte energy companys CEO, Thomas Skains, said Monday.
Piedmonts announcement comes a week after BB&T announced it reached an agreement with the Knights to secure naming rights for the uptown stadium. Under that deal, the ballpark would carry the Winston-Salem-based banks name and signs, among other promotional opportunities.
The team, a Chicago White Sox AAA affiliate, has said it can double its annual attendance, to 600,000, with an uptown stadium. Attendance at the existing park in Fort Mill is among the lowest in the International League.
Knights managing partner Don Beaver said Monday that the agreements with BB&T and Piedmont Natural Gas clearly show how much the community wants Knights baseball in uptown Charlotte.