Even after Charlotte City Council denied an 8 percent tax hike in Monday night’s meeting, it signed off on spending $8 million to help fund the minor league stadium in Charlotte’s Third Ward neighborhood.
Supporters of the stadium made their pitch to city leaders. Families and businessmen like Sid Smith said now is the time to move the team into uptown Charlotte.
“It’ll help all of Charlotte. No. 1, it’s going to help Third Ward. It’s going to finally build out Third Ward and it’s going to be beautiful when it’s finished,” he said.
And after years of debates and lawsuits, city leaders voted 7-4 to help pay for it. The $8 million will be paid out over 20 years.
The money will come from two places: $7.25 million will come from city tourism funding and $750,000 will come from Center City Partners, the group that helps to develop uptown Charlotte.
Officials expect the new stadium to bring about 700 jobs to Charlotte. Play will begin in 2014.
Even though funding for the stadium passed Monday night, some City Council members said now is not the time to spend money moving the team from Fort Mill to Charlotte.
Resident Tim Timmerman agreed.
“Bottom line: Baseball will still be here. Think it through. Think about the budget issues. Be visionaries in that regard,” he said.
The county has also approved $8 million to fund the stadium.
The Knights will have to come up with the rest of the money. They have until June 30 to figure that out.