Team owner eyes gains at ballpark and beyond as second season begins

GASTONIA, N.C. — Brandon Bellamy liked what he saw last year in his first season owning a baseball team, but he’s nowhere near satisfied. Two years ago, Bellamy, a commercial real estate developer based in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., bought an Atlantic League of Professional Baseball expansion club.

Last year, that team — the Gastonia Honey Hunters — played its inaugural season in a new, $28.75 million ballpark on the city’s west side. CaroMont Health Park has capacity for 5,000 people. The multipurpose stadium is owned by the city of Gastonia but operated by the team’s parent company, Momentous Sports & Entertainment.

In their first season, the Honey Hunters finished sixth among eight teams in the Atlantic League in attendance. The team finished with attendance of 114,416 over 58 home dates, an average of 1,973 fans per game.

The league average for attendance in 2021 was 2,553 per game.

“I think our inaugural season was a lot of fun,” Bellamy told CBJ. “The fans were amazing, the community rallied around the team. I think our partners and our sponsors really came together. That energy was awesome.”

But, Bellamy added, he expects to make gains in attendance and, in turn, overall revenue this year. The Honey Hunters have added some in-stadium gathering spots for adults and kids alike for 2022 and, equally important, Bellamy said that everyone has learned how to better serve fans now after a year of experience.

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