KANNAPOLIS- Kannapolis officials hope the new Intimidators Stadium will be a catalyst for growth.
The city celebrated the groundbreaking for the future site of the new Sports and Entertainment Venue during a ceremony this week which marked the start of construction on the new facility. The venue will be near Chestnut Avenue in downtown Kannapolis.
Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant welcomed city staff, Intimidators officials, county commissioners and others to the event and began by sharing a quote from Albert Einstein. Hinnant said Einstein was a man who observed wondrous things and was able to simplify them into ideas like gravity and relativity.
“Facts were his empire but this man of facts always said imagination is everything. It is a preview of life’s coming attractions, and that’s what we are talking about here today,” Hinnant said. “Einstein was smart enough to realize there was very few things that were not integrally connected to something else. So it’s not just a baseball field, it’s not just a Sports and Entertainment Venue. It’s something that is part of a bigger piece that all of us have come to know.”
The Sports & Entertainment Venue is the catalyst for the city’s Downtown Revitalization Project and has already resulted in commitments by private investors for adjacent mixed use developments totaling more than $100 million.
“It’s a catalyst to make things move and to get things happening faster. It’s a people attractor,” Hinnant said. “Baseball great Yogi Berra once said when you come to a fork in the road – you take it and that is what we, the Kannapolis City Council have done. We have reached a fork in the city’s road - when it is time for bold choices in order to achieve our vision of a revitalized downtown. We have dreamed of this Sports and Entertainment Venue and now the day is here. We are very excited to begin construction of this premier venue.”
The venue will be the new home of the City’s Minor League Baseball Team – the Kannapolis Intimidators, an affiliate of the White Sox Major League Team. It will also have 6,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space that people can rent for conferences, meetings, and special events. It is designed as a public park with restrooms, includes a kids zone and will accommodate special events such as concerts.
The stadium will have a seating capacity of 4,930 with 3,218 of those being fixed seats. Other seating options will include luxury suites, a party deck, berm seating, premium dugout box seats, a picnic terrace, an outfield bar and right field boxes.
Steve Morris, chair of the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners, also used a baseball reference in his comments. Morris quoted Bob Feller, a pitcher who played 18 seasons in Major League Baseball for the Cleveland Indians.
Feller was quoted as saying, “Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start all over. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day and that’s the way baseball is.”
“The game of baseball mirrors much of what our city was and will be. Bob Feller was a fire-balling Major League pitcher the same years the bustling downtown of Kannapolis really caught its stride and the community as a whole was in the midst of a prolonged upswing,” Morris said. “This opportunity is incredible for Kannapolis and for Cabarrus County. We have assembled a tremendous team of public and private partners to turn our dreams into a reality. Today is another step is seizing on this amazing opportunity.”
The ceremony, concluded with fireworks, confetti, music by the A.L. Marching Band, and the public hitting balls onto the chalked outline of the baseball field.
During the ceremony the city recognized numerous partners who have helped bring the project to life: Barton-Malow, Brailsford & Dunlavey, Cabarrus County Commissioners, Cabarrus CVB, Creech & Associates, Davenport & Company, LLC, Development Finance Initiative, UNC-CH, Hart & Hickman, Land Design, Parker and Poe, PNC Bank, Pope Flynn, Populous and R.W. Baird.
Temerity Baseball purchases Kannapolis Intimidators
Temerity Baseball, LLC sent out a release on Wednesday, Oct. 31 announcing it has acquired the Kannapolis Intimidators.
Below is part of the release:
“Temerity Baseball will be working closely with the City of Kannapolis on completion of the new state of the art Kannapolis Sports and Entertainment Venue in time for the opening of the 2020 baseball season. The SEV will be the anchor of a revitalized and vibrant urban core.
"As a lifelong baseball player and fan, I am excited to partner with the White Sox organization and the South Atlantic League in bringing an affordable family-friendly baseball experience to the Kannapolis region," says Temerity Baseball CEO and President Andy Sandler. "We also look forward to partnering with the City of Kannapolis to bring a broader entertainment experience to the SEV. We appreciate the vision and support of both the City and Cabarrus County in this ambitious endeavor."
In addition to the Intimidators' home games each season, Temerity Baseball aims to make the new Sports & Entertainment Venue a year-round destination for the community with special events like concerts and festivals, a children's play area, and other community amenities. The team and Kannapolis hope to regularly welcome families and residents to the venue as often as possible on non-event days.
City of Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant said about the news and the team: "We welcome Andy and the members of Temerity Baseball to the City of Kannapolis. We look forward to a new era of great baseball with the Kannapolis Intimidators. Our city council has committed to the success of the team with the approval of the construction of the Sports and Entertainment Venue and the investment of the Downtown Revitalization Project. We are realizing our vision for a prosperous economic partnership together."
"The South Atlantic League is pleased to welcome Andy and his Temerity Baseball team to our family. The City of Kannapolis has made a substantial commitment to the South Atlantic League and Minor League Baseball with the approval of the Sports & Entertainment Venue, and Andy and his team provide the stability and resources for a successful future of the Kannapolis franchise," stated South Atlantic League President Eric Krupa.
Season tickets for the 2019 season, including Founders Club memberships ensuring priority season seat selection at the team's new home in 2020, are on sale now at IntimidatorsBaseball.com. Opening Day for the team's final season at the Intimidators Stadium supported by Atrium Health is scheduled for Thursday, April 4, 2019.