The City of Gastonia announced today it has entered into an agreement with the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) and an ownership group led by Brandon Bellamy, CEO of Velocity Companies, Inc., as the League’s newest club owner. In partnership with the City of Gastonia, Bellamy and The Velocity Companies will collaborate on economic development projects tied to the City’s 5,000-seat multi-use ballpark, including residential, retail, hotel, and office space properties, a $100M potential investment opportunity for the City.
“We are excited to have Mr. Bellamy join us in our continued efforts to create a great place that our community can be proud of,” said Gastonia’s Mayor Walker Reid, III. “This is a milestone for our City and an example of how public-private partnerships can revitalize a community, proving to be beneficial for everyone.”
“We are delighted to bring Atlantic League baseball to Gastonia, a city that has shown tremendous ingenuity and resolve, particularly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said ALPB President Rick White. “Under Mr. Bellamy’s ownership, this club and the ALPB will provide the community with best-in-class baseball and exceptional entertainment for years to come.”
The City’s ballpark, which will be managed by the team, is under construction according to ALPB facility specifications. It will host family-friendly events, provide an intimate fan experience with innovative gathering areas, and allow for multiple athletic and entertainment opportunities. Gastonia will join the City of High Point as the only two Atlantic League North Carolina locations.
“When we learned of this incredible project, we realized it was an opportunity not just to own a team but also to connect with a community that deserves to be showcased,” said Bellamy. “The City of Gastonia has a strong entrepreneurial history, and we are excited to be a part of its continued growth. We look forward to being a good neighbor and making a lasting impact in Gastonia.”
The City broke ground on the ballpark last October as part of an economic development area known as the FUSE (Franklin Urban Sports and Entertainment) District connecting to downtown and creating a viable and attractive area for residents, visitors, and investors.
City Manager Michael Peoples added, “This project required everyone to work together to create an amenity that will serve as a catalyst for private development and improve the quality of life for the entire area. We look forward to our partnership with Mr. Bellamy and the Atlantic League as we celebrate the achievements of projects like these.”
The ballpark will serve as a community asset open to all for its inaugural season in 2021, offering year-round access, including Atlantic League play, entertainment events, community-based high school sports, and recreation. It is also slated to function as the anchor for the overarching FUSE District. For more information, please visit www.fusegastonianc.com.