7 Apr 2014

We’ll get you home!

charlotte_knights_logo_ for 4.7.14The crack of the bat, the cheers of the crowd, the sights and sounds and smells of summer’s favorite pastime – nothing says “community” to me like baseball.

It’s an exciting time for baseball in the Carolinas with the opening of the new BB&T Ballpark, home of the Class AAA Charlotte Knights. Located in 3rd Ward in Uptown Charlotte, the stadium will seat 10,000 and features a natural grass field. More than 600,000 fans are expected to attend one of the 72 home games this season.

Baseball is not new to Charlotte. The first professional baseball team, the Charlotte Hornets, was formed in 1901 and played for a half-century, calling home a 3,200-seat stadium in Dilworth.

Today’s version of baseball began in 1976, when a wrestling promoter brought the Asheville Orioles to Charlotte. A decade later, George Shinn (founder of the NBA Charlotte Hornets) bought the team and committed to build it a permanent home, Knights Stadium, in Fort Mill. In 1998, Shinn sold the team to businessman Don Beaver, who secured a long-term affiliation with the Chicago White Sox. In 2011, plans were approved to build a new stadium near Uptown.

Having made my career in the real estate business, I certainly can understand the excitement of having a new home. The Charlotte Knights are indeed thrilled to be playing ball in a beautiful new facility. And Charlotte and the surrounding areas should be equally happy to share such a positive, quality of life addition.

What strikes me as most impressive, however, is not the great view of the Charlotte skyline, or the convenient location, or all of the neat bells-and-whistles that come with having one of the most exciting minor-league stadiums in the country. I’m proud that we have a place that’s affordable, accessible and enjoyable for everyone – from families to companies, from bankers to bus drivers, from tots to seniors.

Our new stadium is about a community coming together. It’s a symbol for what’s good and right about our city. It’s a diamond worth polishing.

Allen Tate Company is a proud partner of the Charlotte Knights as they kick off their inaugural season in their new home. It’s no coincidence that both of our organizations have the same mission – to get you home. The opening home game is April 11.

We hope to see you in the stands this season, sharing in the fun and excitement of being part of someone’s new home. Look for the Allen Tate message on the huge digital screen, and don’t be afraid to cheer loudly for something worth cheering about!

Let’s play ball!

Pat Riley
President and Chief Operating Officer
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