KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) - On Friday, crews laid the final rolls of sod transforming the Kannapolis Sports and Entertainment Venue (SEV) from a construction zone into a green oasis where the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers will play their first game on April 16, 2020.
The City of Kannapolis began construction of the SEV in October of 2018. It is an economic development anchor for the revitalization of downtown and has already resulted in over $60 million in private investments.
“The addition of the natural grass surface is a game changer in the progress of this project. It now feels and looks like a baseball field and brings Opening Day of this tremendous facility into focus for our fans,” remarked Scotty Brown, operating partner of Kannapolis Cannon Ballers.
Over the course of four days, local workers from North Carolina-based Carolina Green, set more than 100,000 square feet of a custom-grown, sand base bermudagrass product named GameOnGrass™. The specific type of grass installed at the SEV is called Latitude 36, a variety well-suited for baseball in this region based on its characteristics of improved wear and cold tolerance plus its ability to co-exist with ryegrass in the spring.
Carolina Green has worked for over 10 years in developing this engineered sand base system. The playing surface is designed similarly to most professional sports fields with a USGA sand base profile similar to a golf green. The main advantage to this system is drainage. The surface is 1.5” thick GameOnGrass™ which is composed of sand to allow drainage. Below the sod is 10” of sand with peat moss added that will drain in excess of 20” per hour. Below the sand rootzone is a 4” gravel blanket, irrigation lines and perforated drain lines on 20’ centers. The infield-skinned area is a mix from Pennsylvania used by many professional teams. The field is composed of 5,000 tons of rootzone sand, 2,000 tons of drainage gravel, 7,000’ of drainage pipe and 10,000’ of irrigation pipe.
The construction of the SEV, led by general contractor Barton Malow and architectural firm
Populous, is approximately 80% complete. Situated in the heart of the City of Kannapolis, this $52 million state-of-the-art venue will seat almost 5,000 spectators for baseball games and even more for extra events like concerts, festivals and other community events.
Cannon Ballers merchandise and season tickets are now available 24/7 online at KCBallers.com. Area fans can visit the team’s pop-up retail store next to the Gem Theatre located at 111 West 1st Street in downtown Kannapolis weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 10 to 3 on Saturdays through Christmas.
For more information on the City of Kannapolis Downtown Revitalization Project visit //kannapolisnc.gov/revitalization.