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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A day after the City of Wilmington approved the annexation request of a developer, the county announced it will postpone talks regarding the building of a minor league baseball stadium.

Wednesday New Hanover County Manager Bruce Shell and Commissioner Jonathan Barfield said the county will end all talks with the city regarding the building of a minor league baseball stadium. This comes as a response to City Council’s approval of an annexation request made by a developer. The county had urged the city not to approve the request.

“Based on the decision that was made last night I don’t see how that (stadium) is going to happen,” Barfield said. “To me, the tone of the whole meeting last night was not good. The comments that were made, in my opinion, were comments to tear down and not build up. At this point I can tell you pretty clearly that the Board of County Commissioners will not be in the baseball discussion.”

For some City Council members the county’s decision to back out of baseball does not sit right.

“It’s sad the baseball opportunity did not have a fair chance,” Councilwoman Margaret Haynes said. “The whole situation is very sad.”

“The county is not taking anything away from the baseball project,” Councilwoman Laura Padgett said. “The county has not agreed to pay anything.”

Other elected officials though are hopeful that the ballpark discussion between the city and county will continue down the road.

Councilman Kevin O’Grady says he will always look for ways to bring more economic opportunity to the area and he hopes the county will too.

Commissioner Jason Thompson says for him, baseball talks are not over. He thinks a minor league team will be a big economic asset to the area.

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10 Comments on "City and county elected officials respond to ballpark talks ending"

2015 years 9 months ago
2015 years 9 months ago

The public is quick to want to drain millions out of the economy to put it into the pockets of a few baseball team owners and players, but fights new industry tooth and nail (Titan), which would bring jobs, revenue and positive cash flow to the area – without piling on more debt and interest payments.

2015 years 9 months ago

I was not at the meeting that was held on Jan.3rd, but I did watch it on TV. I loved the statement that Commissioner Barfield made and he hit it right on the head. ” That this was like a child playing Mother against Father. That is exactly what happened and the council fell for it. There are many,many people that have been annexed into the city years and years ago and they are still waiting to get what was promised to them. The City Council just seen a cheap way to get more money.
They can do all the studies they want that part of Market St CAN NOT handle any more traffic.
I have a question for them have they been on Market ST. during rush hour. It backs up from the area of D&E heading north all the way past Porters Neck and now they want to put another 282 cars into that mix. What type of deal was made under the table for them to do that?
Stand strong County Commissioners the city is being under handed.

2015 years 9 months ago

I think if you get restaurants to help build the place. They can share expense in it and they can put restaurants in front of the entrances. They can be open when they aren’t playing during the schedule.

2015 years 9 months ago

Obviously Wilmington can be bought for a mere $70,000! Or was there even more prostitution that went on?

Local 51
2015 years 9 months ago

I am sorry that our elected officals are like a bunch of third graders.Just because the city has reached out to help the community grow which the county would not do.How else can the city grow now with the new annexation laws in place.Maybe now is the time to combine the city and the county.Doing this we could have new eleted officals looking out for the community as a whole.The county commissioners has the most mixed up people I have ever scene.They are either fighting with themselves,in jail or wanting to meet somebody in the parking lot for a fight.Dear God please help us.

2015 years 9 months ago

City needs to take care of and use what they already have. How about fix some roads and take care of some crime first.
What is the attendance at the wilm sharks games? An avg of ~1700 per game. How many of those do you attend now? We need a baseball stadium like we need another convention center.

2015 years 9 months ago

Voters have voted NO to consolidation on three different occasions. They made it extremely clear that they don’t want it.

2015 years 9 months ago

“How else can the city grow now with the new annexation laws in place.”

The new law does not stop annexation. It gives the ones in the proposed area a choice. So to answer your questions the city can still annex land, it’s just going to have to truly offer addition or better services that would make >40% of county residents want to be a part of.

Or, they can continue to promise developers any rezoning or conditional use permit they desire in exchange for voluntary annexation.

Roger Maris
2015 years 9 months ago

There used to be a group in Brunswick County that had a baseball park there with I believe the same Braves farm team online. Why can’t Wilmington just live with that ball park being built on the otherside of the river from downtown? Is it because this is about money for developers rather than what’s best for the area?

Below is the website of the ball park. it also shows a music venue and cart racing.



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