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Outlook Not Good for Charlotte Stadium
Associated Press

FORT MILL, S.C. -- Fans here might attend major league baseball games, but the Charlotte Knights' stadium is too far from downtown, it needs upgrading and a season-ticket base may not be large enough to temporarily support a team, according to a feasibility study.

The report concluded a team would fly only with a first-class facility in uptown Charlotte.

Knights Stadium in Fort Mill, used by the Triple A team, is about the only facility quickly available for the relocated Minnesota Twins. A new stadium could be built in about two years.

Nearly seven out of 10 people said they would buy tickets to games in Fort Mill, the study found, but only two of 10 would spring for season tickets.

Just under half of businesses said they would buy season tickets; for individual games, however, only one in 10 businesses said they might buy them.

The study, conducted for the Charlotte Regional Baseball Partnership, said Knights Stadium would have to be expanded from 10,000 seats to at least 24,000 and road access improved.

Don Beaver, who owns the Knights and wants to buy the Twins, would be responsible for stadium upgrades, and most likely, road improvements, county officials said.

While York County would benefit from major-league play for two years, the Knights would lose their home, County Council Chairman Carl Gullick said. He said he would like the Twins to stay in York County and questioned whether Charlotte can do a stadium deal.

``Maybe we go to Charlotte and see if there's a way to put together an arrangement that's mutually advantageous,'' Gullick said.

Charlotte leaders said they want to build a $200 million stadium downtown without tax revenue. Area residents do not support using large amounts of tax money to