A Guide To Charlotte Knights Baseball
Professional baseball in Charlotte enters a new era in 2014 with the opening of the BB&T Ballpark in the heart of the Center City. The new state-of-the-art facility marks the latest chapter of the city’s fascination with pro baseball, a tradition that dates back more than 100 years to the founding of the Charlotte Hornets baseball team in 1901. Generations of Charlotte residents enjoyed games in Crockett Park, located in the Dilworth neighborhood, until the field was destroyed by fire in 1985. Since 1989, Charlotte’s baseball team, renamed the Knights, has played in Knights Stadium, just over the state line in Fort Mill, SC. With the opening of the BB&T Ballpark, baseball in Charlotte returns home.
Charlotte Knights Baseball
324 S. Mint St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
About The Charlotte Knights
The Charlotte Knights Baseball Club is a Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox playing in the International League. Triple-A ball is one step below Major League baseball. Many Knights have been called up to play in Chicago, including pitcher Jon Garland and third baseman Joe Crede, who played important roles in winning the World Series for the White Sox in 2005.
Owner Don Beaver bought the Knights from George Shinn in 1998. Beaver also owns two other minor league clubs, the Class-A Hickory Crawdads and the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs. Beaver hopes someday to bring major league baseball to the Carolinas.
Baseball teams play nearly every day during the season. The Knights will play 72 games at home during the inaugural season at BB&T Ballpark and an equal number of away games. The season runs from April 3 to September 1, with the first home game played in Charlotte on April 11 vs. the Norfolk Tides. Most games are played in the evenings with first pitch at 7:05 p.m., with afternoon games on Sundays.
Knights’ games are scheduled against regional International League rivals the Durham Bulls, an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays; the Georgia-based Gwinnett Braves, affiliate of the Atlanta Braves; and the Norfolk Tides, affiliated with the Baltimore Orioles. Teams from Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester, NY, Columbus and Toledo, OH, Louisville, KY, and Indianapolis, IN, as well as from Pennsylvania and Rhode Island will also come to Charlotte to compete.
Located just a few blocks from the stadium where the Carolinas Panthers play, $54 million BB&T Ballpark seats some 10,000 fans in suites, club seats, box seats and outfield bleacher sections. Numerous areas are available for private events, parties and picnics. A concourse offering a variety of food and drink options wraps around the stadium, with vendors including Queen City Q, Fuzzy Peach frozen treats and more. A kids’ play area is located behind right field. The 30×80-foot video scoreboard is located in left-center field. The ballpark has been designed to offer great views of the Charlotte skyline.
Individuals with club seat and suite tickets have access to the upper level Diamonds Direct Luxury Lounge. Other fans can opt for the standing room only Carolinas HealthCare System Home Run Porch, a restaurant and social area overlooking right field.
Four murals on the South Graham Street outside wall of the ballpark depict the four ball fields where Charlotte teams have played through the years. Adjacent Romare Bearden Park will be used for special events during the baseball season and beyond.
Special Events And Promotions
Numerous special events and giveaways are planned during the season, including German, Greek, Italian and Irish heritage nights and celebrity appearances. The KnightinGals Dance Team performs at most Saturday games. At the annual Pink Knights game, players wear pink uniforms that are auctioned off after the game to benefit Carolinas’ Breast Friends. In addition, regular promotions for the 2014 season include:
Sunbelt Family Sundays: Kids can run the bases after the games.
$1 Sahlen’s hotdogs
Education Day, sponsored by Duke Energy
Hickory Tavern Thirsty Thursdays
Friday Night Fireworks (including the WBT Skyshow Fireworks Spectacular on July 4)
Junior Knights Kids Club
Homer the Dragon, the Knights mascot, is a favorite with young fans and entertains at every home game. Kids ages 17 and under can join the Jr. Knights Kids Club, sponsored by Moe’s Southwest Grill. The $45 membership fee includes outfield tickets to three selected games, a Knights T-shirt, baseball card set and invitations to special events.
Tickets to Knights games are available at a wide range of price points. Many season ticket options have already sold out. Tickets available for individual games run from $18 for box seats to $10 seats in left field. Fans can also opt for $12 standing room only tickets to the Home Run Porch where food and drink are available. You can save $2 on every ticket by purchasing tickets in advance through the Knights website. Active military with valid ID, children under 12 years old and seniors 55 and older receive a $2 discount on day-of game ticket purchases, a deal available only at the ballpark. When reserved seating is sold out, standing room only tickets are available for $8, giving fans access to the concourse and seating on the grass berm.
With 15 years of experience covering restaurants in Charlotte and the Carolinas, and two regional guidebooks under her belt, Renee Wright examines the dining scene with enthusiasm plus a deep knowledge of food trends and outstanding local eating ops. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.