Leaders in Charlotte appear to favor new baseball stadium

While researchers are gathering feedback about building a minor league ballpark in the area from residents in Wilmington, council members in Charlotte appear to be close to approving a plan to bring baseball to its downtown area.
While researchers are gathering feedback about building a minor league ballpark in the area from residents in Wilmington, council members in Charlotte appear to be close to approving a plan to bring baseball to its downtown area.

CHARLOTTE, NC (WECT/AP/WBTV) – While researchers are gathering feedback about building a minor league ballpark in the area from residents in Wilmington, council members in Charlotte appear to be close to approving a plan to bring baseball to its downtown area.

Most Charlotte city council members indicated Tuesday they could support a plan to provide the Charlotte Knights with $8 million to build a stadium uptown. Right now, the Knights play in Fort Mill, SC.

The Knights have been trying for years to get everything in place to build a new stadium in Charlotte's 3rd Ward. The proposed site would be at the corner of South Mint and Third streets.

City staffers propose giving the team more than $7 million from hotel and motel tax revenues. The rest would come from an uptown booster group.

The Knights originally asked for $11 million from the city, but council members balked.

According to a survey of Wilmington taxpayers, residents were nearly split in regards of whether or not to publicly fund a baseball stadium on the coast.

The Knights hope to have a stadium in uptown Charlotte by the 2014 season. The team said a new stadium would double its annual attendance to 600,000.

Supporters say moving the team to Charlotte could bring a $2.1 billion economic impact to the city.

Copyright 2012 WECT. All rights reserved. WBTV and The Associated Press contributed to this report.