We all know what happened last time Charlotte whored itself out to an Uptown project. That's why I'm glad to see that at least this time, the city is setting down some ground rules.
City staffers recommended that city council give $9 million toward a proposed Uptown baseball stadium for the Charlotte Knights, $2 million less than what the team asked for. The council will vote on the recommendation in two weeks.
According to the Charlotte Observer:
Under a deal presented to the city's economic development committee today, the city contribution would be split between proceeds from the 3 percent hotel/motel occupancy tax and an economic development grant.
But Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble stressed that the city is not paying any money upfront for the project. Instead, the team would pay construction costs, then city would begin reimbursements in 2015 with future payments dependent on the Knights continuing to play baseball in uptown.
If the city's proposed contribution is approved, the public and the Knights would each bear 50 percent of the $74 million price tag for the ballpark, including land. But Kimble said the baseball team would be responsible for any cost overruns.
Don't worry if you don't get the funding, guys. There's always next year.