SBD/April 24, 2012/Facilities

BB&T To Put Name On Potential Charlotte Triple-A Ballpark Amid City Council Doubts

BB&T declines to disclose amount of money involved in ballpark naming-rights deal
The Triple-A Int'l League Charlotte Knights yesterday said that they have “secured a naming-rights deal with BB&T Corp." for a potential new stadium, but the team also “faced a chilly reception from the Charlotte City Council, which is considering giving the team $8.5 million toward building a ballpark uptown,” according to Steve Harrison of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. The team said that it “needs city help to build the stadium" with the total cost being “$74 million, including $28 million from Mecklenburg County.” Harrison notes it is “unclear whether there is a majority of council members to back the city subsidy.” Some council members said that they believe the team “could spend more of its own money on a stadium,” while others have “questioned the timing of the subsidy, which comes as the city is considering a property-tax increase.” The stadium would be called “BB&T Ballpark under the agreement” announced yesterday. BB&T “declined to disclose the amount of money involved.” Harrison notes the bank has its name “on two sports venues in the Winston-Salem area -- Wake Forest University’s football stadium, and the city’s minor-league baseball stadium” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 4/24). BB&T said that the naming-rights deal in Charlotte "will be one of its largest sports-marketing initiatives." BB&T Senior VP/Corporate Sports Marketing & Event Planning Pete Zifchak said that the "bank considers the proposed stadium 'a compelling opportunity' to expand its brand in Charlotte." Zifchak said that the deal runs through '31. The bank has not said whether "it plans to provide a loan to the Knights' ballpark effort" (WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL, 4/24).
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