Kannapolis approves $52M downtown ballpark; aiming for 2020 opening

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — The Kannapolis City Council unanimously approved a minor league baseball stadium in downtown Monday night.

The stadium is expected to be ready for the 2020 season.

“It is just a total rebirth of our city,” City Manager Mike Legg said.

City Council approved the $52 million construction contract for the facility. It will hold roughly 5,000 people

Two developers have expressed interest in putting apartments, shops, restaurants and a hotel next to the ballpark. The two developers combine for a $128 million investment.

“It is really going to be one of the more exciting places in the Charlotte region when it is done,” Legg said.

The Kannapolis Intimidators will also get a new owner in a couple of weeks. MiLB and the South Atlantic League are finalizing a sale to Andy Sandler of Temerity Capital Partners

Sandler, a retired attorney and a baseball fan, said it won't just be baseball in the stadium downtown, but you can expect concerts and other community events.

“I don't think there is anywhere in the country where there is this kind of canvas to paint on where there are so many different parcels of a downtown community, that are all going to be redeveloped at the same time,” Sandler said. “We are going to be doing a lot of things that are really enjoyable for this community.”

Sandler said his group has been operating on a thesis about what happened with MLB teams in Washington, D.C. and San Diego that could happen at the minor league level. He promises people are in for fun and reasonably priced family entertainment.

“They are going to have a great facility and it is going to be really entertaining,” Sandler said.

Under the terms, the Intimidators will pay $450,000 a year to lease the stadium.

Currently, the city pays the Intimidators a subsidy to play at its stadium near I-85.

Legg said that is a $600,000 difference.

The deal is for 30 years, which includes a provision that Kannapolis has to be included in the team name.

Read more top trending stories on wsoctv.com: