SBJ/April 1-7, 2013/Facilities

Council OKs bigger signs for new Charlotte ballpark

Charlotte City Council members last week signed off on an advertising plan that allows for more murals, graphic panels and sponsor logos on the outside of the planned new ballpark for the Class AAA Charlotte Knights.

The Knights and lead architect Odell Associates needed a zoning change to allow for larger signs and more logos on the exterior of the $54 million facility than otherwise would have been allowed. The ballpark, scheduled to open next year, is being built on an 8-acre county-owned site in downtown Charlotte.

BB&T Ballpark, scheduled to open next year, has a sign plan that council members have called “cluttered” and “very busy.”
Image: ODELL ASSOCIATES
Councilwoman Patsy Kinsey was the sole vote against the request, which had previously received criticism from some other members. Kinsey said she felt the plan still looked “cluttered” and “a little messy.”

The team proposes LED moving-message signs and a motion display panel on the venue, BB&T Ballpark. Last Wednesday, Knights representatives and executives from naming-rights sponsor BB&T Co. revealed several variations of the future design of the ballpark’s logo.

The council-approved plan was a revised proposal that the Knights presented to the council earlier in the month. It reduced the square footage of an initially proposed 1,776-square-foot sign on one section of the stadium to 75 percent of the wall area, according to documents submitted to the city staff. Another initially proposed 1,711-square-foot sign on the rear of the scoreboard was reduced by half. The Knights also plan to relocate a pair of trees to the front of a 490-square-foot LED sign.

Councilman Michael Barnes had said several times that he wanted the ballpark to look uniform in comparison with Bank of America Stadium and Time Warner Cable Arena, other sports venues in downtown Charlotte. He had described the Knights’ sign plan as “very busy.”

Councilwoman Claire Fallon also expressed concerns. However, both Barnes and Fallon were absent from last week’s council meeting, when the revised plan was approved.

Susan Stabley writes for the Charlotte Business Journal, an affiliated publication.

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