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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Manager Bruce Shell told us late this afternoon that during a meeting between his staff, City of Wilmington staff and Mandalay Entertainment, he made it clear that the county is not interested in working together to bring a ballpark or team to Wilmington. Mandalay is the company proposing bring the team and a new park to the city with the help of economic incentives.

We’re told Shell called county commissioners and got their input before making the announcement at the meeting, therefore there was no vote on the matter.

The move comes after the county encouraged the City of Wilmington not to move forward on a voluntary annexation deal involving an apartment compex developer. The city took the county’s concern under advisement, but approved the deal anyway. That angered county commissioners and the county manager.

County Commissioner Jason Thompson says he was in favor of continuing the talks but understands Shell’s frustration and supports his decision.

Comment on this Story

  • taxpayeriam

    How they have cost the county residents to pay 5-10 times more for the same water with the county and city forming CFPUA,only to pay for the cities failing water and sewer system because they had rather have a park or a c-center and think downtown is the only place in wilmington.The county and city have to approve the increase and bonds for CFPUA so don’t think you are out of the BALLPARK.
    Okay lets look at the money wasted on trying to form a waste dispoal
    joint venture that was going to cost the taxpayers 500 grand a month,instead of fix what the tax payers have already paid for.Now they want to tell the county taxpayer who can pick up the trash we pay to have removed.
    City claims they could not pay to mow the fields at the ball park so they want to install a-turf but they purchase hundreds of acres of land for parks they have to be mow and maintain.The bike trail is costing millions.
    But fixing roads lowering taxes is not on the agenda.

  • GuestGimmeABreak

    Does anyone else remember just how greedy and cash-hungry and utterly stupid government officials for the City of Wilmington really are?

    Wilmington is looking at restricting hotel growth within city limits because it would create traffic problems. Whew, thanks guys, ’cause lord knows we don’t have any traffic problems already. So they don’t want more hotels or further expansion of current hotels, but they have no problem demanding – DEMANDING – to be given more land in the COUNTY so that they can have another source of money.

    And let’s not forget just how responsible city leaders are with money. Remember the German cruise ship that docked for one day in Wilmington? That one day resulted in $400,000.00 being pumped into the local economy, and all the city had to do to get that money was allow the ship to dock at the river. But hey, why take FREE MONEY when they can spend BILLIONS on truly crucial stuff like convention centers and baseball parks?

    I too agree with the Commissioner. Wilmington just wants to take, Take, TAKE REGARDLESS of what the county leaders and citizens think. Oh wait, let me clarify that…they only want to take if it means they can spend tons of taxpayer money while doing so.


    I also congratulate the impartiality behind “Taking ball home as far as ballpark is concerned”. Way to go, supposedly impartial-we-just-wanna-report-truthful-news media outlet. I wonder if you have the courage to allow this comment to be posted. I suspect, due to what you’ve shown time after time, that freedom of speech ends when someone disagrees with your own views.


    We now know that Wilmington can be bought for $70,000. Maybe they can advertise their willingness to annex on a billboard as you enter NHC.

  • Guest1411

    Why don’t you spend the money fixing the roads and potholes.

    Sad, we have a new convention center but our roads are horrible.

  • Guest111

    Pot Holes?? Strange you should mention that!! I hit a pot hole two months ago, in a city street during a rain storm. I hit it hard, too. I thought I would have problems driving off but didn’t. Then there was a noise that developed in the front of my car and a pulling when I drove. I broke my shock and threw the front end out of alignment. It cost over 500. because you have to replace BOTH shocks and have an alignment done. Do you think the city took responsibility since the road is their’s to maintain? If it had been OUR property we would have been sued for damages. Lazy bunch of big shots in charge who have their priorities ALL out of focus.

  • Wayne Edwards

    A Ballpark downtown,on the river no less, would be quite an attraction for locals and tourist alike. I think the other times
    it was tried and failed was mainly because of the location. But
    down on the river would be a perfect fit and would generate a lot
    more interest and attendence.

  • Guestgee

    I’m with Barfield 100% on this. I hope all county commissioners get on board. The city drew a line in the sand with this Porters Neck annexation. One would have to be a complete fool to believe that the rezoning decision is still up in the air.

  • Guest121212

    The city of Wilmington seems to be pixxing off everyone these days!!!

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    …as much as we need a few more bars downtown.

  • Robert Green

    Our local government(city and county) needs to focus on providing basic services and providing adequate infrastructure, during very lean economic times.Bill Saffo and Company keep putting the cart before the horse when it comes to looking out for the welfare of their citizens( i.e building a convention center while the city’s water and sewer collapsed).Bringing baseball to the Port City will have to be a private sector pursuit that will have to do without having the taxpayers subsidizing baseball.Seldom does our county government get it right.They are right this time around and also right about satelite annexation.Beware citizens, Billy and Company will probably put you folks on the hooks.Liberals are always happy if they are spending your money.

  • Brian

    If baseball in Wilmington can’t support itself without taxpayer funding, then it doesn’t need to happen.

  • GuestGrrr

    Here’s just a dumb idea…
    Why don’t you build a large multi-diamond baseball park for OUR (taxpayers) youth.
    Currently It’s so overcrowded right now that depending on the week of practice with optimist you have 9 yr olds START their practice at 9pm when they should be in bed.
    It is NOT optimist’s fault. It’s the counties fault for NOT having enough ball fields.
    To heck w/ a team. FO something for the thousands of youth who LIVE hear.. Support them and build THEM a ballpark. You have three at Hugh McRae for THOUSANDS of youth.. That’s ABSURD.
    Those of us who have lived here out entire lives gave up on a NFL, NHL, or Major League Ball Team YEARS ago once we grew up and realized this city doesn’t have the mental capacity in city or county management to take on such an enormous task.
    If you recall, it was proven this decade when our glorious leaders built is a minimal convention center instead of one large enough to bring in national or world-wide bookings that would excessive boost the economy.. Oh wait.. You can’t build a hotel or a bridge either….
    Oh.. or force a rich yuppie beach who wants no visitors to stop raising their parking prices to the point where tax payers who help to support their infrastructure can’t even park affordable.
    Oh wait.. you can’t even properly pay your own employees..
    This entire county is bass ackwards. If Thompson and Barfield could hold this pile of turd in their hands without obstruction for a year or two, maybe us dumb redneck homegrown hillbillies would be proud to call this place home but no.. of course not.. the rest of you friggin morons went out and elected Kermit the frog with aspberger syndrome or is it assberger syndrome, and all our elected peeps can do now is babysit his stupid a$moronic idiotic brainless i8w od 10 #@…

  • truthseeker

    Saffo wants the stadium just like he did the convention center. The only problem is the citizens do not want it but cannot seem to get to the polls to vote this self serving buffoon out of office. I get sick to my stomach everytime I see his hair all greased up on TV and him telling us how great he is. If he is not getting his pockets enriched then I will not use his hair to make my next oil change.


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