by: Jeff Smith Updated:
YORK COUNTY, S.C. - York County officials said they're starting to narrow down their plans for what to do with Knights Stadium.
The team will leave for Uptown Charlotte after next season.
Eyewitness News has learned several York County council members want to tear down the stadium and develop nearby land.
Knights Stadium sits on 33-acres of mostly undeveloped land just off the interstate. There's a lot of grass, a lot of trees, and a big parking lot.
For Sunday afternoon's game, like so many others, that lot was mostly empty. The Knights have one of the worst attendance records in minor league baseball.
"You got a lot of access here. There's a lot of land you can buy up and build roadways and exits and what have you," said York County resident Jack Berg.
That's exactly what a government source told Eyewitness News the county wants to do. The County is exploring its options to buy up nearby land, including a church located a few hundred yards away from the stadium.
That would mean tearing the stadium down is the most likely outcome.
The land could be developed into fairgrounds, to draw visitors from both North and South Carolina.
"I know, it doesn’t get real populated during the Knights games, but you know, something like that would bring more people around," said resident Josh Whisenant, who said fairgrounds would be a big attraction for young families.
The other idea is to turn the land into a state-of-the art equestrian center. The county has been studying that option for years, in fact. York County has at least eight registered horse farms.
"They have an awful lot of horse stables, real close at hand too," Berg said. "I think you'd make more money out of it, and it’s more useful."
Knights Stadium could stay up and be used for high school events and regional competitions. But sources said that won't bring as much money to the county as new development
The county manager is researching those options. He could brief the council on the economic impact of development as early as its next meeting in late August.