Mac Attack 6/13/12: Charlotte Knights GM Dan Rajkowski talks about the team’s proposed move to a new location in Charlotte and the team’s future in the area.
The Charlotte Knights’ proposed move to uptown Charlotte has been a long and drawn out process, complicated by litigation and economic struggles. This week, however, has been a promising one for the minor league baseball club. General Manager Dan Rajkowski had some promising feedback for us when we asked him about the remaining financial proceedings on the project.
“I’m very confident that we’ll put our side together. In fact, that’s what I do on a daily basis is putting the whole package together, which we’ve been doing for the last couple of years. We’ll come up with that in the next couple of weeks. Certainly a very positive vote this past Monday from the city council, participating to fill that gap and make this project happen. I’m very confident that in April of ’14 the Charlotte Knights are actually going to be playing in uptown Charlotte.”
Real estate attorney Jerry Reese has been fighting this proposal for quite some time. It seems he isn’t giving up despite the number of times he’s been defeated. Rajkowski feels that the Knights are no longer deterred by Reese’s endeavors.
“He’s gone through five lawsuits. He’s 0 for 5. He’ll continue to proceed. I don’t like spending my time talking about it or worrying about it. We’re going to proceed with this project…What one person may think is certainly not the majority of it, so it’s not going to hold our process up. ..I think the community wants it. I think it’s long overdue. It’s a good time for the Knights; it’s a good time for the Charlotte community. “
While the Knights may be past most of the litigation that has stunted their progress, some opposition still exists for a completely different reason. Some people still want Charlotte to attempt getting a major league baseball team. Rajkowski explained why he thinks that is simply not the best decision for the community right now.
“If you added a third major league team into this market it would be the smallest market with three major league teams. Then you also look at NASCAR, the Wells Fargo Championship, and all the other types of things. Frankly it’s not large enough to support it, and if you did bring in a third one of the other majors, and I don’t think it’d be the football team, would suffer dramatically because you’re talking about trying to get 81 dates in the summer, during the week, and trying to occupy that. “
While a major league team is currently not the best option for Charlotte in Rajkowski’s opinion, he isn’t so opposed to it in the future.
“In 10 or 15 years when the time might be right, if major league baseball is out there and this team is successful and the demand is out there, then I think you go after it. But, right now is not that time.”