Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium is no more, call it CMC NorthEast Stadium | Business
KANNAPOLIS - Taking the Cannon out of Kannapolis, it almost seems unthinkable, but the Cannon name was removed from one more part of life in Kannapolis, the minor league baseball park. It's now CMC-Northeast Stadium.
But if you think removing the old Cannon name means the century old Cannon influence is gone, think again.
The Cannon Foundation remains very active, doing a lot of good in many areas, including establishing the "Scholar's Cove" at the UNC Nutrition Institute at the North Carolina Research Campus.
Kannapolis Councilman Ryan Dayvault said as far as the stadium name goes, it's good for the team and the city not to have a stadium named for a company that went out of business ten years ago.
With plenty of peanuts and Cracker Jacks, Tuesday was a good day to be back, at the old ballgame, in a stadium with a new name.
"I'm real happy that his family has carried that forward and they still take an active role in this," Mayor Bob Misenheimer told WBTV.
The mayor is talking about the Cannon family. Charles Cannon founded Cannon Mills and built Kannapolis around it. It was one of the largest textile plants in the world for decades. But Cannon also built the hospital that is now CMC Northeast, in fact, workers at Cannon Mills used to refer to the hospital as plant 13.
"Here's a continuation of a family legacy through what is today CMC-Northeast," Bill Cannon told WBTV.
Cannon is the grandson of Charles Cannon. He says when the ballpark was Fieldcrest Cannon stadium, it actually had little to do with his family or legacy, but now as CMC Northeast it does, and some say that's good for Kannapolis.
The old mill and it's smokestacks are long gone, replaced by the North Carolina Research Campus, but the Cannon influence still stands tall.
"People want to see the Cannons be a part of Kannapolis," Dayvault told WBTV. "What better way to do that than to have him here today and name the stadium after something his grandfather established years ago."
"I'm very proud of my family's influence in all of this area, we literally started the town from scratch and started the plant there in what was farmland...Kannapolis is near and dear to my hearts, my children's hearts, and hopefully for succeeding generations," Cannon added.
While the stadium's new name reflects the Cannon influence, the team name reflects the influence of another legendary figure, the Intimidators are named for Dale Earnhardt who had an ownership role in the team prior to this death. The Intimidators, a Class A affiliate of the American League Chicago White Sox open up the new season on Thursday.
Team officials are expecting a great season on a number of fronts. Last year was the team's best year for average attendance since the franchise came to town as the Piedmont Phillies in 1995. Also, the City of Kannapolis just signed a fifteen year lease with Smith Family Baseball, the owners of the club, and Rowan County recently sold its portion of the ownership of the stadium to Kannapolis. Among other things, that freed up the naming rights for the stadium.
CMC Northeast singed a five year deal for the naming rights of the stadium, the amount paid for that privilege was not revealed.
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