make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Downtown businesses have mixed feelings on economic impact of proposed ballpark

READ MORE: Downtown businesses have mixed feelings on economic impact of ballpark
bb300.jpg

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Building a baseball stadium in Wilmington could have a huge impact on the Cape Fear area, especially for businesses close by.

The Atlanta Braves and Mandalay Baseball Properties will be in the Port City tomorrow morning to make an announcement about the proposed ballpark, and we've been hearing they will discuss the economic impact to downtown Wilmington.

Business owners we spoke with say a baseball stadium would definitely help the downtown economy, but only certain businesses would benefit.

“I think all the businesses downtown will definitely get a boost in customers and even regulars that will start coming in,” said Stephen Price, a manager at Hell’s Kitchen.

He says a baseball stadium close by would bring in way more customers.

“Being a kind of sports bar and pub, we'll definitely see a lot of the people that like baseball come in here,” Price says.

However, all businesses may not be so lucky.

“A minimum affect,” said Isaac Lazar, owner of Isaac’s Men’s Store on Front Street. “We don't expect too much affect from them.”

Though Lazar and Price agree that a ballpark would help downtown as a whole, Price feels his store would not see a huge increase in sales.

“The people that come to watch baseball, they don't come to buy clothes,” he said. “They are going to come and have a good time, watch the game, buy drinks, walk around and have a good time.”

The Wilmington Convention Center, which has been open a little over a year, could be an indicator of how a stadium could affect the downtown economy. Lazar and Price have mixed feelings about its impact.

“Yea, our sales are up since that place opened up,” Lazar said. “We've seen some significant, positive impact.”

“It really just depends on what they'll have at the Convention Center, if we'll see anything out of it,” Price said.

The news conference with the Atlanta Braves and Mandalay Baseball is Wednesday at 10 a.m. on the lawn of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

»

TAXPAYER FUNDED BALLPARK???

That is the real question. Developing the valuable riverfront and supporting downtown Wilmington is not being contested here.
Making it happen with taxpayer dollars is the issue.
Two ball stadiums in the nation, New York & L.A., do not cost the taxpayer. The remaining cities around the country pay an average of 4/5
of the stadium cost, with each year of never ending yearly costs... while the stadiums themselves, on the average, only come up with 1/5 of the cost! It can go to an even darker place. In St Louis, the taxpayers must now pay an additional 20 million to renovate their aging 20 year old stadium. The taxpayers do not have a choice at this junction.
I believe the taxpayers should be left out of the equation.

Narrow Minded !!

I am afraid many downtown merchants as well as local naysayers and tax quacks fail to or are unwilling to see or understand the totality of the future development that will follow the Stadium. Using our most recent example, Durham, who has seen over $300 million in development joining the stadium property. This development includes Commercial, Residential and Hotel complexes and is the site of the new Durham Center for the Performing Arts where national and international performers are attracted for concerts. This development has provided a boost all across the various types of businesses in Downtown Durham not just the bars and restaurants. Wilmington has a unique opportunity to see dramatic increases in both property and sales tax revenue from the stadium development and our local citizen will benefit greatly from a new source of pride and recognition this city deserves.

Mike

get your facts straight.

The Durham facility was not built in a "prime" real estate area. Just the opposite. And the impact of the stadium and construction did lead to improved tax values in what had been a somewhat blighted area.

This proposal is for "prime" waterfront real estate. A far cry from the areas in Durham, Winston-Salem, and Greensboro.

In each of those cases, too, the facilities are located adjacent to a major traffic artery and do not add significant traffic to a congested downtown; and in Wilmington, it seems one of the streets leading to the proposed baseball site is always under construction of some type.

So Mike, how about comparing apples to apples or oranges to oranges. You failed to do that Mike.

If you want to make a fair comparison, Mike, why not point to areas like Creekwood or other run down portions of Wilmington. That would be a far more fair comparison

S/C Tom

My point relates to the potential for Property Tax and Sales Tax Revenue. Which over time benefits the Cities revenue stream and helps provide services the city needs and currently has no money to provide such.
Building in a prime area simply enhances that revenue stream. Picking some out of the way or blighted area only reduces the potential. I read in your previous posts that a rural site would be your choice. I could not disagree more. I would assure you that both the Braves and Mandalay would agree that their money will be on prime property. Your point about fair comparison is all wrong in that I had no purpose to offer a comparison. Wilmingtons potential is far greater. I merely state what Durhams local officials stated happened in the immediate area around their stadium and that I believe those same things could happen in Wilmington. Lets use PPD as an example. If cheap land was their goal then they could have found plenty of that. I can only assume they didn't want their brand represented in that manner.

Nice Try

you really said nothing. I believe that's called clouding the issue.

I did refer to a rural location, some months ago, as an alternative to the over priced waterfront site being proposed. At the time, I noted modest land values, access to I-40, and the ability to draw from a number of surrounding counties for a fan base.

There are far more suitable sites in Wilmington, which have declined over years, and which would benefit from the construction and operation of the facility.

And that is where you failed. Every other city you referred to addressed issues such as transportation and improving areas which had declined over years.

You've also shown you really know little about the financial operation of a facility and team.

Nice Try

Want more taxes go baseball

Want more taxes go baseball stadium.

DOWNTOWN BALLPARK

BALL PARK AND CONVENTIONCENTER 2 DIFFERENT THINGS, IF YOU'RE GETTING INCREASED TRAFFIC PEOPLE WALKING AROUND ETC. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT! PROMOTE PROMOTE,PROMOTE, GET THEM INTO YOUR BUSINESS, SMALL GIVE AWAYS, A SMILE, A COURTEOUS HELLO.MAKE THEM WANT TO DO BUSINESS WITH YOU, AND WORD OF MOUTH, CAN DO A WORLD OF GOOD FOR ADVERTISING, GET INVOLVED, DON'T BE NEGATIVE. MAYBE SOMETHING NICE FOR PLAYER WITH A HOMERUN, PITCHING A COMPLETE GAME, TURN THESE BASEBALL POSITIVES INTO YOUR POSITIVES THROUGH SIGNAGE, PROMOTIONS, AND JUST BEING A OOOD BUSINESSMAN. SEE WHAT PEOPLE WANT, BEND TO FIT MORE NEEDS

Oooooohhhhh, now be careful...

Signage??? In a privately owned business on private property in the COW??? Special task force for you. BTW, same thing happened to me. My caps lock got stuck. After years of research I found no remedies and was forced to replace the entire system....

Downtown Ballpark

Using all caps doesn't help emphasize your point, it just makes it annoying to read (even when you have a valid point). Caps Lock key is on the far left of your keyboard, 3rd key from the bottom.

CAPLOCK

WE KNOW WHERE THE CAP LOCK KEY IS. WE JUST PREFER TO LEAVE IT STUCK. THATS OUR RIGHT. BESIDES, I THOUGHT THE ISSUE HERE WAS THE ball park. DON'T READ IT, IF IT BOTHERS YOU THAT MUCH.THATS YOUR RIGHT TO.