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RedHawks baseball: Could White Sox be interested in OKC?

Triple-A affiliation with Charlotte expires after this season
BY RYAN ABER, Staff Writer, Modified: August 18, 2010 at 9:11 pm •  Published: August 18, 2010

For years, the Charlotte Knights have sought a new, uptown ballpark.

The Triple-A team has the site picked out, signing a lease with Mecklenburg County two years ago that called for the team to build a new stadium in Charlotte's Third Ward.

Litigation has held up even the ground breaking, leaving the Knights playing in Fort Sill, S.C., which is about 20 miles south of Charlotte.

The stadium isn't old — it was built in 1990 — but the Knights would like to move closer to the central population base in Charlotte.

Charlotte's attendance had increased in each of the last five seasons, but this year, the Knights' attendance has dropped sharply.

Going into Friday's home game, Charlotte was averaging 4,048 per game, which ranked last in the International League. Thursday's game drew 2,427.

Like the Oklahoma City RedHawks' agreement with the Texas Rangers, Charlotte's player development contract (PDC) with the Chicago White Sox expires at the end of this season.

Last month, a group headed by Nolan Ryan and Chuck Greenberg bought the Texas Rangers, virtually assuring the Rangers-RedHawks partnership would not be renewed.

After more than 30 years of having their Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City, the Rangers are expected to pair with Round Rock. Ryan also owns that team.

Neither RedHawks officials nor any officials from major league teams can comment on possible affiliation changes until early September.

The White Sox might be among the teams looking for a new affiliate for next year. They could be interested in Oklahoma City.

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