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NC Baseball needs a hit by April 1

Guest markotsay7

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Guest markotsay7

The backer of a plan to bring major-league baseball to uptown Charlotte has until April 1 to prove the plan could work, or he'll lose his turn at bat.


Mecklenburg County commissioners said the Florida Marlins have yet to publicly confirm they're considering a move to Charlotte from their current home outside Miami.


Board members also said they need to know the identities of the private financial partners who would back the 38,700-seat stadium in Second Ward proposed by Charlotte real estate lawyer Jerry Reese.


Commissioners said they think Charlotte-Mecklenburg's chances of scoring a major-league team right now are slim.


"If I thought it would happen in my lifetime, I would pursue it," Commissioners Chairman Parks Helms said. "I just wonder how long we should continue to chase this rabbit."


Board members said county staff should instead concentrate on a proposal to build a minor-league stadium for the Class AAA Charlotte Knights in Third Ward, unless Reese can provide the new information before the deadline.


Reese told county commissioners in January that Marlins officials -- who have publicly said they are considering new homes -- are interested in his Brooklyn Renaissance Project, a mixed-use plan for Second Ward that includes housing and retail development.


His announcement prompted questions about whether Charlotte -- which would be the smallest metropolitan area to host a major-league team -- could support a third professional sports franchise.


Tuesday night, surrounded by television news cameras, Reese said the commissioners' vote is short-sighted, and he will try to keep the plan alive.


"All we're going to do is keep working," he said.


County General Manager Bobbie Shields, who has worked on both baseball plans, said there's little else he can do to study the major-league plan without knowing more.


Commissioners voted 7-2 in favor of setting the deadline, with Republicans Jim Puckett and Dan Bishop opposing the plan. They said a hard deadline is unnecessary, and if Reese offers a better plan to bring baseball uptown at any time, the board should consider it.



Looks like we're close to crossing Charlotte off of our list... :) :) :)

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