Knights look forward to moving on - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Knights look forward to moving on

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FORT MILL, SC (WBTV) -

Another season is in the books for the Charlotte Knights, but it's not just any season.

The Labor Day outing against the Gwinett Braves was the last home  game after moving to Fort Mill, South Carolina during 1989.

Next April, the team gets a new home and stadium in Center City Charlotte.

However in a town where the Panthers and Bobcats represent top shelf sporting events, success and growth can be found at the intermediate levels.

Hearing the words play ball opened a floodgate of bitter sweet emotions.

24 years ago when the Charlotte Knights set up shop in Fort Mill, the team was owned by Geroge Shinn, games were played in a temporary stadium, and Homer the Dragon made his entrance on Sky 3.

At the final game, the original Homer rolled through the tunnel. His grand entrance at B B and T ball park hasn't been decided just yet.

Dan Rajkowski is the Charlotte Knights General Manager, and is proud of the progress.

"We've got our season tickets going now, and we're pleased with sale of the suites, and the club seats are sold out," he said.

Dan Panko of Concord makes 50 home games a year, and got in on the ground floor of the new Third Ward stadium.

He said, "We've got two seats behind home plate for the new Ball Park."

The fast track for success of smaller tiered sports isn't just tied to baseball when you consider there were more fans than seats for UNC Charlotte's first football game this past Saturday.

Eric Spanberg is a reporter with the Charlotte Business Journal. "A lot of it has to do with the economy" he said. "I think people are on tighter budgets, and when you look at sports, it's a lot cheaper to go to  a minor league baseball game or a college football game."

Meanwhile, sports franchises are enjoying the fact that fans are keeping them in mind with their discretionary dollars.

"This is a great community minded group of sports franchises. We're just hoping for a little piece of that," Rajowski said.

It is an appetizing piece of the pie considering that fans are looking forward to moving from these seats in South Carolina to the confines of Center City Charlotte.

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