Truist Field

Truist Field is a baseball stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.[6] The Uptown-area stadium hosts the Charlotte Knights, a Triple-A Minor League Baseball team in the International League. It is also the third sports building to be built in Uptown, after Bank of America Stadium (home of the NFL's Carolina Panthers and MLS's Charlotte FC) and Spectrum Center (home of the NBA's Charlotte Hornets).

Truist Field
Uptown Ballpark
Truist Field logo.png
BB&T Ballpark 2.jpg
Former namesBB&T Ballpark (2014–2019)
Location324 South Mint Street
Charlotte, North Carolina
United States
Coordinates35°13′41″N 80°50′56″W / 35.227988°N 80.849011°W / 35.227988; -80.849011Coordinates: 35°13′41″N 80°50′56″W / 35.227988°N 80.849011°W / 35.227988; -80.849011
Public transitLight rail interchange 3rd Street/Convention Center
Tram interchange Mint Street
OwnerMecklenburg County
OperatorKnights Baseball, LLC
Capacity10,200[5]
Field sizeLeft field: 330 feet (100 m)
Center field: 400 feet (120 m)
Right Field: 315 feet (96 m)
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Broke groundSeptember 14, 2012[1]
OpenedMarch 22, 2014[2]
Construction cost$54 million
ArchitectOdell Associates in association with BallparkDesignAssociates[3]
Services engineerSmith Seckman Reid, Inc.[4]
General contractorBarton Malow/R. J. Leeper/Rodgers[3]
Tenants
Charlotte Knights (IL/AAAE) 2014–present

HistoryEdit

An Uptown stadium for the Knights had been a long-running saga in Charlotte, occasionally the subject of contentious debate. Since the dawn of the new millennium, the Knights had consistently had the worst attendance in the International League. Their stadium at the time, Knights Stadium, was located in Fort Mill, South Carolina, 30 minutes south of Uptown Charlotte. Many fans were unwilling to brave the traffic on Interstate 77 to get there.

The project had been repeatedly blocked by Jerry Reese, a Charlotte lawyer who claimed the land swap was illegal.[7] Reese had ambitions to move a Major League Baseball team to Charlotte and viewed a Triple-A sized stadium for the Knights as a detriment.[8]

In August 2006 the stadium became the source of more debate, as Mecklenburg County commission chairman Parks Helms said he would stall an arts project until the Charlotte City Council looked at a proposal he backed to bring baseball to Uptown.[9]

Furthermore, it could expand the Atlantic Coast Conference's plans to return the Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Tournament to Charlotte. The ACC tournament had been held at Knights Stadium until the NCAA's ban on South Carolina having predetermined championships took effect because of NAACP pressure in relation to the state's display of the Confederate flag on the State House grounds.

The former site of the Piedmont and Northern Railway's Interurban Depot, which was razed before 1970 and had since been used for car parking and storage, was chosen as the location for the new ballpark in Uptown's Third Ward.[citation needed] Multiple new mid-rise hotels are expected to open in the area around the new stadium, along with restaurants and retail.[10]

The first event held at the ballpark was a media softball game, which took place on March 22, 2014.[2] The first Knights game took place on April 11, 2014.[11]

The stadium hosted the 2016 Triple-A All-Star Game in which the International League All-Stars defeated the Pacific Coast League All-Stars, 4–2.[12]

On January 31, 2018, Charlotte Knights Chief Operating Officer Dan Rajkowski announced that the Knights will host a total of six college baseball games during the upcoming season during the Sunbelt Rentals Collegiate Baseball Series. This is the most in the ballpark's history.

Truist Field hosted the 2021 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Tournament, May 25-30, 2021.[13][14] The 2020 games were scheduled to be held at Truist Field but were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[15]

Naming rightsEdit

On April 23, 2012, it was announced that BB&T, a bank based in Winston-Salem, acquired the naming rights for the new ballpark. The terms of the deal were undisclosed and the ballpark was afterwards officially referred to as BB&T Ballpark.[6]

In 2019, BB&T merged with Atlanta-based SunTrust to form Truist, based in Charlotte; on June 11, 2020, it was announced that new name would be Truist Field.[16]

FeaturesEdit

The stadium features a two-level club with skyline views as well as a VIP, climate-controlled club with full-service bar.[17] In total, there are 975 club seats and 22 luxury suites at the ballpark.[18]

As a hitter-friendly park, the ballpark had the highest home-run factor the International League and Triple-A from 2014 to 2016. Its hit factor was the highest in the league and the fifth-highest in Triple-A.[19] Knights general manager Scotty Smith said that due to the limited lot size, the foul lines are a few feet shorter than minor-league guidelines.

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Bethea, April (September 14, 2012). "Knights Break Ground on Stadium to Bring Baseball Back to Charlotte". The Charlotte Observer. p. 1B. Archived from the original on November 24, 2012. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Davidow, Brandon; Adams, Rance (March 22, 2014). "Annual Media Softball Game Kicks off BB&T Ballpark". WCCB. Charlotte. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Charlotte Knights Uptown Baseball Stadium". Odell Associates, Inc. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  4. ^ "BB&T Park". Smith Seckman Reid, Inc. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  5. ^ DePriest, Joe (March 8, 2014). "Hundreds Turn Out at New BB&T Ballpark to Buy Knights Single-Game Tickets". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Lyttle, Steve (April 23, 2012). "BB&T, Knights Agree on Uptown Ballpark Rights". The Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
  7. ^ "Attorneys Argue Baseball Land Swap Lawsuit In Union County". WSOC. Charlotte. April 30, 2008. Archived from the original on May 1, 2008. Retrieved April 30, 2008.
  8. ^ Spanberg, Erik (February 6, 2006). "A Major League Income Shortfall". Charlotte Business Journal. Retrieved February 6, 2006.
  9. ^ Levine, Carrie; Brown, Steven; LaCour, Greg (August 25, 2006). "Proposal Links New Stadium, Arts Tax, Helms' Plan Has Some Backing on Board, and Sharp Disagreement". The Charlotte Observer. p. 1A. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  10. ^ Spanberg, Erik (February 4, 2014). "Retail, Office Towers, Hotels Top Uptown Charlotte's To-Do List". Charlotte Business Journal. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  11. ^ Weinrib, Ben (July 31, 2013). "Charlotte Knights Announce Date for First Uptown Game at BB&T Ballpark". The Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
  12. ^ "Triple-A All-Star Game Results (2013–2017)". Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  13. ^ "2021 ACC Baseball Championship". theacc.com. The Atlantic Coast Conference.
  14. ^ "Duke Ends ACC Baseball Title Drought". theACC.com. Charlotte, North Carolina. May 30, 2021. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
  15. ^ "NCAA cancels remaining winter and spring championships due to coronavirus concerns". NCAA.com. March 12, 2020. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
  16. ^ Weinstein, Austin (June 11, 2020). "Truist unveils its new name for BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  17. ^ "Club Seats". Charlotte Knights at Uptown. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  18. ^ Spanburg, Erik (July 5, 2013). "BB&T Ballpark Is Reshaping Charlotte Knights Franchise". Charlotte Business Journal. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  19. ^ Dykstra, Sam (November 15, 2016). "Toolshed Stats: Triple-A ballpark factors". MiLB.com. Retrieved November 15, 2016.

External linksEdit