Funny — just not ha-ha funny — word that York County cannot wait for the Charlotte Knights to land in some publicly-subsidized Uptown baseball staduim. The (Rock Hill) Herald reports:

[The] loss of the Knights could mean a king’s ransom for the county.

The county owns the stadium and the land around it so the team doesn’t pay property taxes to the county. And because of growth around the stadium, the land has become a jewel for developers.

Anne Johnson, a senior vice president with a brokerage firm, CB Richard Ellis, projects the value per acre in the area at $200,000 to $400,000.

“The land is worth more than the lease, by far,” said Al Greene, York County manager.

Greene said the lease, which the county is now negotiating with the team, brings the county between $120,000 and $130,000 a year.

“(The move) would not hurt the county financially,” Greene said.

The land the stadium sits on has become prime development land in conjunction with the building of the Fort Mill northern bypass and other roads that will one day lead to Ballantyne in south Charlotte.

York County Councilman Jeff Updike, who represents the district with Knights Stadium, said there are a few options for the 33 acres the county owns along with the stadium.

“I think several things,” Updike said. “We could use a large track and field center, or do we literally level the stadium?”

Couple fun — just not fun-fun — things there. Knights owner Don Beaver is angling to swap a $130,000 a year lease payment in York County for “nominal” charge in Mecklenburg. This is how Beaver will magically come up with the $35 million needed to build his stadium Uptown — the city/county will, in effect, finance the stadium for him.

With no lease payment and no property tax payment, Beaver’s cash flow can all be re-directed toward debt service. And no doubt Bank of Wachovia stands by to finance that debt.