CHARLOTTE -- A majority of Mecklenburg County commissioners are ready to approve three deals tonight that would help clear the way for a minor-league baseball stadium in uptown Charlotte, even as lingering lawsuits threaten the plans.
Five commissioners said they'll likely vote in favor of the proposals, which include a lease-agreement to let the Charlotte Knights build a 10,006-seat stadium in Third Ward. The Knights currently play their home games at Knights Stadium in Fort Mill.
The other proposals call for selling land for the proposed "Brooklyn Village" mixed-use project and buying property for an urban park in Third Ward.
Commissioners were supposed to vote on the items two weeks ago but delayed action after real estate attorney Jerry Reese filed a third lawsuit to try to stop a series of land swaps that would make room for the stadium.
Reese has pushed to recruit a major league team to the area.
Last week, Reese offered a settlement to the county. Board members will discuss the proposal in closed session tonight.
Not all commissioners had been briefed on the settlement as of Monday afternoon, and those who had didn't give details of what was in the offer.
But Dan Ramirez said Reese "wants a lot of things that will be impossible for the board or county to comply with."
Dumont Clarke, who said he's heard preliminary summaries of the proposal, said he thinks it was "highly unlikely" the board would concede to Reese's demands.
Ramirez and Clarke both said they supported approving the three baseball-related deals. Karen Bentley, Norman Mitchell and Valerie Woodard also said they would vote for the plans tonight, though Bentley and Woodard said information coming out of the closed session could change their minds.
Members Dan Bishop and Bill James said they'll vote against the items because they don't think the county should spend more money for a professional sports team uptown.
Chairman Jennifer Roberts and Vice Chair Parks Helms wouldn't say how they'd vote. Helms met with Reese on Monday and discussed the settlement offer and Reese's own baseball proposal.
Reese wouldn't comment on the meeting. But he said he was discouraged that commissioners would make up their minds before seeing the six-page settlement offer, which he called "very fair and very calculated to resolve all these issues."
Reese said approving the three deals tonight "will basically just trigger a number of additional legal challenges that will be pursued aggressively."
Also in the mix is a lawsuit that will be filed by Charlotte attorney Bill Diehl once the county signs a lease with the Charlotte Knights.
In October, a judge dismissed the two lawsuits previously filed by Reese. He has appealed that decision.
The third lawsuit asks a court to overturn a series of decisions made by commissioners involving the baseball plan, including the use of bond money that would pay for the park land and other county projects.