Kannapolis considers plan to move baseball stadium downtown - myfoxcarolinas.com

Kannapolis considers plan to move baseball stadium downtown

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City leaders in Kannapolis are considering a plan that would move the Kannapolis Intimidators, a Single A baseball team for the Chicago White Sox, from their current location, which is miles from the city, to the heart of downtown Kannapolis.

“We identified a baseball stadium as being an option to possibly produce 100-150,000 more people downtown that currently or otherwise don’t come downtown for anything--to eat, to shop, just to have a good time," Kannapolis Deputy City Manager Eddie Smith said.

The proposed stadium location would be at the corner of Dale Earnhardt Blvd. and Vance Ave., the former site of the post office. Smith says the lease with the Intimidators expires in two years, so city leaders will have to make a decision on the downtown stadium by that deadline. He adds that once a decision is made, there would be a feasibility study, and the entire process would take 2-3 years before a new stadium is ready to open.

According to Smith, the current Intimidators stadium, which is just off Interstate 85, needs at least two million dollars in upgrades. Smith estimates a new stadium would cost $20-25 million to build.

Michael Earl owns Mike’s Village Grill in downtown Kannapolis. He thinks relocating the stadium to the city’s center would boost business.

“They (people downtown) would see us," Earl said. "A lot of people say we just don’t come downtown because there’s nothing to draw us down.”

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