There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by David Berger, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
The Charlotte Knights opened their new ballpark in April 2014, and the accolades have not stopped coming in. The Knights went from worst (3,803 per game in 2013) to first (9,686 in 2014) in attendance. In 2015, Baseball America named BB&T Ballpark as the best park in the minors. Having attended more than 20 games here, including seven in 2015, it would be hard to argue.
The park is maturing, and that has resulted in big increases in fan friendliness and customer service. The fans are maturing, as well, from gawkers checking out the new shiny thing to an audience participating in the experience of family friendly baseball.
Having visited 95 parks throughout the country, including most of those regularly included on “best-of” lists, BB&T Ballpark clearly belongs in the conversation for Best Ballpark in Minor League Baseball.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The Knights have all the standard fare you would expect, but have also made a point of bringing in a nice helping of local flavor. This is North Carolina, so let's start with the barbecue, provided by local favorite, Queen City Q. They have stands at the ends of both baselines, but the primary placement is in right field near the team store. Sandwiches and plates are available, and their offerings are quite good. Meat is smoked on-site, so it's fresh and tasty. To finish the barbecue experience, the Knights offer a banana pudding-filled mini-helmet, in addition to the standard ice cream helmet.
There's a nachos option to suit every palate (except carb-free). The best of the best is the option offered by Salsarita's. Your nachos are a fully assembled mix of cheese, house-made chips and toppings, the way nature intended. These are very popular, and a sign that things are done right. This may be the best food option I've ever consumed in a ballpark. Queen City Q offers a barbecue nachos selection that is above-grade, and the main concession stands offer the industrial chips and cheese cup variety. Definitely spring for the Salsarita's version.
Beyond the standard beer offerings, there are a number of local brews available, and a Beer Garden offering plastic "Mason Jars" of drafts is down the third base line. Olde Mecklenburg Brewery is offering an exclusive craft beer, "A Knight's Ale," an IPA available only at the ballpark. Near the main entrance, near first base, they've added a stand that focuses on local microbrews.
Just Fresh is another local chain that offers healthier options, from wraps and sandwiches to salads and other lighter fare. The Fuzzy Peach offers a nice selection of local frozen yogurt, and restaurants like Whiskey River occupy locations in the "garage" area which offers a distinctly hyper-local flavor.
Charlotte is psyched about its new downtown ballpark. Fans are coming out in record numbers, and Knights games are the new big thing. After nearly 10 years of total apathy, it's really great to see as a baseball fan. The city is energized, and it shows in ticket sales. The Knights are leading the minors in attendance in the early part of the 2015 season.
There's a palpable buzz in the park, between the standard seating bowl, the concourse and the party decks. The concourse wraps completely around the park, and people are just walking along it throughout the game, taking it all in from all angles. There's a play zone in center field, behind the batter's eye, a picnic area in left, and a two-story Home Run Porch in right. All these touches add a new energy to the stadium, with unique and varied viewpoints.
The immediate neighborhood is still emerging as the ballpark has stimulated new development in an area of urban Charlotte that had previously been somewhat neglected. The Carolina Panthers stadium nearby never generated much development, due to the fact that it has been rarely utilized beyond the 10 days a year that football has been played. At a minimum, the 72 game days the Knights are bringing have provided a greater impact for nearby businesses.
Before or after games, fans flock to Mellow Mushroom for pizza, American Roadside for burgers, or Valhalla for an intimate pub scene. A few blocks further opens up all sorts of dining and entertainment options on Tryon and College Streets. The Epicenter is a four-story dining and entertainment complex, with everything from bars and restaurants to live music, a theater and a bowling alley.
For something unique to Charlotte, try Green's Lunch, an old-school lunch counter just beyond the center field wall, at Poplar and 3rd Streets. Green's has been an institution for nearly 90 years, and serves a great southern-style dog (chili, mustard, onions and slaw) for a very reasonable price. Presidents have dined here, and you can too. Green's is definitely worth a visit as a step back in time.
Charlotte has a long, but fickle history with its baseball fans. College basketball still rules the area, and the Panthers are a solid second in hearts and minds.
The enthusiasm for the team seems to have maintained into the second season. Tickets can be hard to come by, even though the actual seats are roughly two-thirds full. Prices on the secondary market are three-times face value during the week, and more on weekends. There also seems to be a vibrant scalper community hawking tickets along nearby Romare Bearden Park.
The fan base is maturing, as well. People are more attuned to the game, and not so much the surroundings anymore. In a recent near no-hitter, the fans were well aware of what was happening, and were engaged throughout.
Due to the downtown nature of the park, and improvements made to support Panther traffic over the years, getting to BB&T Ballpark is a breeze. From the suburbs, all the major commuting routes are available to bring you to the area, as well as mass transit options in the bus system and the light rail line to the south.
Parking shouldn't cost more than $5 within a few blocks from the park, both in surface lots and the office towers. If you want to be close, try parking in the Ally Center at Church Street and Levine Ave of the Arts, or the corporate decks on Church and 4th Streets.
The Knights offer everything you can ask for in a modern minor league park. For a top-end ticket price of $16 ($18 if purchased day of game), you get a great seat and a great day of baseball. Concession prices are in line with what you'd expect, and there are opportunities to save with discounts on Mondays, and Thirsty Thursdays. Considering the soaring prices for major league sports, the Knights offer a high level of competition for a very affordable price point.
The Knights spared no expense in the seating bowl. Rather than maximizing capacity, seats vary in width and go as wide as 24 inches, 33 percent wider than a standard 18-inch stadium seat. Even if you're not in a bigger seat, their existence spreads everyone out, and you're not packed in. Leg room is also plentiful, as often people are able to easily pass you without having to get up to let you pass. The Knights also upgraded from standard metal bleachers to full seats with backs in the outfield sections, so even the lowest-priced ticket is comfortable. For 2015, they added some new rows of seats to the right field corner, increasing capacity by another 200 seats to 10,200.
The Knights main video board is the widest in the minors, and provides crystal clear video replays and stats. Outside, there's another video board facing into Romare Bearden Park, that the Knights have used to broadcast game action to folks who couldn't get into the game. The Knights have also added a new home run feature - a giant dragon statue that breathes smoke and fire whenever one of the Knights hits a homer.
July 4th weekend, BB&T Ballpark is now host to the city of Charlotte's SkyShow - one of the largest fireworks displays in the Southeast. This has made tickets for the July 4 games a hot commodity on the resale market. This year, since they are not home on the 4th, they've scheduled a Cuba vs USA matchup so patrons will make a night of it at the park and stay for SkyShow.
Member Review by dberger on Apr 30, 2014
Charlotte has finally opened its new downtown ballpark for the AAA Charlotte Knights, and so far, it has been a tremendous hit. Despite the long political struggle to get the park built, there’s a tremendous appetite in town to see this beautifully-set ballpark add a vibrant new corner to Uptown Charlotte.
This review is primarily based on Opening Night, April 11, 2014, when the Knights had a standing-room-only crowd, and some of the logistics are still being worked out. While overall, I believe I’m giving the park high marks, there is room for expected improvement as they work out the ins and outs of dealing with crowds five times as large as they experienced in Fort Mill, SC during their final year there.
Member Review by sportsroadtrips on Aug 24, 2015
There is an expensive club section that takes up all the seats behind home plate. All other seats down the line are $19 on game day. Not cheap. The standing room is a bargain, and a table is provided to rest your food and scorebook. Beautiful downtown location, free street parking in evenings and on weekends. Easy to get to and from. Netting atop the dugouts a bit annoying but that is the direction in which baseball is heading.
Member Review by dhbucks on May 08, 2016
Everything was great. Awesome location in the downtown area. Only down side was everything was a little over priced
309 West 4th St
Charlotte, NC 28202
440 S Church St
Charlotte, NC 28202
317 S Church St
Charlotte, NC 28202
324 S Mint St
Charlotte, NC 28202
There are no local lodging entries. Help us build with your expertise!