The Charlotte Knights baseball stadium now under construction Uptown nearly didn't happen because of Jerry Reese. He's a local attorney who filed a series of lawsuits to block the stadium deal just as the recession hit and funding for the project became harder to find. Reese has now agreed stop fighting the stadium in court.
Jerry Reese is not against having a baseball stadium Uptown – he just thinks it should be for a Major League team, rather than a Minor League one like the Charlotte Knights.
Since 2007, Reese has filed eight lawsuits over various aspects of funding and land deals between the Knights, the city and Mecklenburg County. Judges dismissed the first seven and most recently threatened to sanction Reese if he kept on with the lawsuits. So Reese has agreed – in a settlement with the city and county – to file no more lawsuits against the stadium.
Charlotte City Attorney Bob Hagemann is confident the dispute is over.
"The settlement agreement is pretty strong in its wording and there are significant sanctions that would be imposed on Mr. Reese for violating the settlement," says Hagemann. "Frankly I don't think there's any chance of that happening."
The settlement also prohibits Reese from requesting any public records related to the project. Reese says that's fine, because he's ready to devote his time and money toward bring Major League Baseball to the Carolinas.
Wherever that is, it won't be Mecklenburg County, says Reese, because local officials have already quote "cast their lot" with Triple A baseball and Charlotte will remain a quote "second-tier, minor league city in perpetuity."
The Charlotte Knights plan to be playing Uptown in 2014.