So the York County Council figures it's worth $100,000 of our money to study what we should do with Knights Castle and the surrounding land when the team deserts us (er..., I mean "moves on") next year or the year after or, well, whenever they can find someone to pay for it (er..., I mean "work it out").
According to the story in last week's paper, several officials believe it might be beneficial to use the land for some kind of equestrian venue or maybe something related to agricultural tourism.
Although I've never actually met an agriculture tourist, I'm willing to believe they exist, so I'll give the county the benefit of the doubt. I'm not, however, willing to let the chance for a 100-grand go by without a fight.
Because I assume the council is open to suggestions and would never have pre-selected a study group or settled on an issue without hearing from all sides, I've got a few suggestions.
Now, I suspect the people who have already begun working the back channels to position themselves to grab that land the second it becomes available will not be happy about me throwing my two cents in like this, but hey since they're not likely to make themselves known and I have no shot at the back channels, this seems only fair (if I end up face down in the Catawba River, at least you'll know why).
Here are my ideas. I'll be expecting that check within the week:
A concert venue
With bowl seating and accommodations already in place for 10,000-plus spectators there is no better use for the place as is. It's maximum payback on minimum investment. And, since it's clear that the surrounding area is growing up as mixed use business and possibly multifamily housing, it would be a perfect compliment to the area, and it wouldn't smell like horses.
Olympic skateboard park
Tear out much of the seating and set up a wonderland for skateboarders who pay by the hour. And since the X-Games are actually considered real sport now, it could be the nation's premier skateboarding training and competition facility.
A Mass Transit Hub
Since York County already missed its first chance to extend Charlotte's new light rail all the way to Rock Hill, here's another opportunity. We should use that land to help focus future development of South Carolina and the CMA on mass transit. It could be the first hub in a high-speed train system from Charleston to Columbia to Fort Mill that connects with the Lynx system in Charlotte and beyond.
Minor League Baseball
If Charlotte does in fact steal our Triple-A team, we should go out and lure away someone's Double-A or Single-A team. There are plenty of fans to go around and it would serve the Knights right for leaving such a fine facility.