(UPTOWN CHARLOTTE, NC) - Baseball and fireworks converge in Uptown Charlotte on Saturday, July 4th as BB&T Ballpark will play host to the 39th Annual WBT SkyShow. With the Charlotte Knights on the road this season facing the Gwinnett Braves on July 4th, this year's celebration features a friendship series between USA Baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation at BB&T Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.
"We are very pleased to be able to keep the tradition of baseball and fireworks alive on the Fourth of July," stated Knights Chief Operating Officer Dan Rajkowski. "What better way to bring the city of Charlotte together with the largest fireworks show of the year and a competitive game between Team USA and the Cuban Baseball Federation."
SkyShow returns to BB&T Ballpark for the second time in as many seasons and will once again kick things off with a SkyShow Street Party on Mint Street on July 4th. Face painting, balloon animals, games, prizes, and the largest fireworks show in the Southeast headline the annual event, which brought together thousands of people in and around the Uptown area last year.
"WBT is thrilled to be partnered again with the Charlotte Knights for the 2015 July 4th SkyShow," said WBT Operations Manager Matt DuBois. "We are proud to offer the Charlotte Community this gift that has been a tradition since 1976."
After a 16-year hiatus, USA and Cuba resumed a yearly international friendship series in 2012 with the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team traveling to Havana for a five-game series. Cuba scored a 3-2 series victory that year. In 2013 (in the U.S.) and 2014 (in Cuba), the host nations each came away with a five-game series sweep. In three years of the renewed rivalry, Cuba leads the series 8-7.
This year, the friendship series between Team USA and the Cuban Baseball Federation will take place at three different ballparks over the course of a five-game series. The two teams will open and close the series at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., on July 1 and 6, while the Durham Bulls will host games on July 2 and 3 at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
"It is a thrill to bring the Cuban National Team to North Carolina for five competitive, entertaining games in Cary, Durham and Charlotte, this summer," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball's executive director/CEO. "Building on the success of the first three years of this renewed friendship series should make for an incredible experience for the players, coaches, fans and the international baseball community."
Season ticket holders will have the first opportunity to purchase their seats for the July 4th event beginning today. Tickets for the game on July 4th, along with single-game tickets to all 72 regular season home games, the White Sox exhibition game on April 3rd, and the Charlotte 49ers game on March 31st, will go on sale to the general public beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 21. Single game tickets for all games will then go on sale by phone at 704-274-8282 and online at CharlotteKnights.com at noon on February 21. Prices for the July 4th game will be the same as prices for all 72 regular season home games this season.
Friday Night Fireworks, presented by 107.9 The Link, News Talk 1110 WBT, and BB&T, also return to BB&T Ballpark for the 2015 season and the Knights will light up the sky on 12 occasions this season.
About USA Baseball:
USA Baseball is the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee and the World Baseball Softball Confederation. The organization selects and trains the World Baseball Classic, World Cup and Pan Am teams (and all other USA Baseball Professional Teams); the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team; the USA Baseball 18U, 15U and 12U National Teams; and the USA Baseball Women's National Team, all of which participate in various international competitions each year. USA Baseball also presents the Golden Spikes Award annually to the top amateur baseball player in the country. For more information, please visit USABaseball.com.
Season tickets, as well as 18-game partial ticket plans for the 2015 season at BB&T Ballpark, are on sale now and can be purchased online at charlotteknights.com, by phone at 704-274-8282, or in person at the BB&T Ballpark Ticket Office located at 324 S. Mint St. The Charlotte Knights return home to BB&T Ballpark on Friday, April 3 as they host the Chicago White Sox in an exhibition game. Tickets for the Knights Leadoff Luncheon are also on sale now. Opening Knight of the 2015 season is set for Thursday, April 9. Uptown Knights Are Better Than Ever!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.