KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) - On April 8, 1995, the teams and fans were ready for baseball, but the stadium wasn’t completely finished. Work was being completed on restrooms and box seats, but that didn’t delay the return of minor league baseball.
It was known then as Fieldcrest-Cannon Stadium, named for the textile plant had defined the personality of Kannapolis for decades.
The team was the Piedmont Phillies, associated with the National League Philadelphia Phillies. The crowd was huge on that opening night. The stadium location, just off I-85 and Moose Road, was a compromise designed to appeal to fans from both Cabarrus and Rowan counties.
In 1996 the team became the Piedmont Boll Weevils, and then the Intimidators prior to the 2001 season when NASCAR legend and Kannapolis native Dale Earnhardt became part of the ownership group.
On Thursday, the final game will be played in the stadium. As part of a massive downtown revitalization project, the city of Kannapolis is building a new “sports and entertainment venue” that will be the new home for the as yet unnamed Kannapolis minor league baseball team.
Thursday night’s game will feature post-game fireworks, a commemorative t-short giveaway for the first 1000 fans, and all fans will be allowed to run the bases. The gates open at 6 pm, gametime is 7 pm.
City leaders say what will happen to the old ballpark is not completely known at this point, but it will likely be dismantled with the land being put up for sale.