Gastonia, NC – July 28, 2020 – 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. Bellamy becomes the only African American majority owner of a professional baseball club since the Negro Leagues. 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 Mr. Bellamy, the CEO of Velocity Companies. “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.
About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
With eight teams in the Mid-Atlantic and Texas, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent more than 950 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 42 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 23-year history. For more information, please visit AtlanticLeague.com.
Brandon Bellamy is a passionate and purpose-driven real estate entrepreneur and currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of The Velocity Companies. Over the past 30 years, Mr. Bellamy has excelled in real estate investment, real estate development, and private fund management. Mr. Bellamy couples a unique knowledge of market-rate and affordable housing development and a superior understanding of financial engineering to impact existing and developing communities. During his tenure at The Velocity Companies, the firm has developed and consulted on projects located in the Mid-Atlantic and the Carolinas with an aggregate asset value exceeding $500 million. For more information, please visit www.thevelocitycompanies.com.
Gastonia, NC, just minutes west of Charlotte, is one of the area’s best places to live and work with an ideal combination of location, size, and livability. Gastonia is the largest of Gaston County’s 15 municipalities and one of the largest cities in the Charlotte metropolitan area. Selected as an All-America City three times, Gastonia’s desirable quality of life is the result of its beautiful natural surroundings, friendly neighborhoods, responsive government, and vibrant business environment.
City of Gastonia:
Mary Elliott, (704) 315-9461, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brandon Bellamy/Velocity Companies, Inc.:
Veronica Jeon, (202) 803-3303, email@example.com
Gastonia Professional Baseball:
Krissi Edgington, (317) 513.5608, firstname.lastname@example.org
Atlantic League Professional Baseball:
Doug Eppler, (717) 801-4490, email@example.com