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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Just one day after Mandalay Baseball Properties and the Atlanta Braves announced they had secured private financing to build a new baseball stadium in Wilmington, City Manager Sterling Cheatham has drawn up a proposal to hire Ripken Design of Baltimore, MD, to manage the city’s baseball project manager.

Below is a cut and paste copy of the proposal that Cheatham is expected to present to City Council Tuesday, according to the meeting’s agenda that was online Thursday. The agenda posted on the city’s website was pulled late Thursday afternoon. The website was updated to say the agenda “will be posted before noon on Friday.”

The proposal also suggests the council approve spending another $55,000 from next year’s fiscal budget on top of the approximately $150,000 it set aside this year to do due diligence to hire Ripken Design.

The company is owned and operated by Baseball Hall of Famer and former Baltimore Oriole Cal Ripken Jr. and his brother Bill.

City Council
City Hall
Wilmington, North Carolina 28401

Dear Mayor and Councilmembers:

At their February 21, 2012 meeting, Council authorized the expenditure of up to $123,500 in Fiscal Year 2012, for professional services related to the successful negotiations of a contract that would permit the development of a baseball park in Wilmington. Since that authorization, staff has solicited proposals from firms capable of performing a specified set of services designed to assure the feasibility of any proposals associated with the development of a ball park. The employment of a baseball project manager is in the best interest of the City for a number of reasons, not the least of which is there is no on-staff expertise to appropriately analyze the feasibility of building a baseball park in the community. The project manager will act as an extension of the City staff in developing and analyzing all of the aspects that accompany the development of a minor league baseball facility.

We received 10 proposals from various firms. Six of those proposals were found to be compliant with the circulated request. The firms that supplied the compliant proposals were interviewed by a team of staff members, each of whom had particular interest or expertise that will be helpful in the event that a ball park is constructed in Wilmington. Team members included Amy Beatty, Tony Caudle, Richard King, Debra Mack, and Ron Satterfield. Proposals were evaluated on a number of factors including, but not limited to: experience with similar projects; experience with municipal projects; stakeholder input; market analysis; feasibility analysis; knowledge of minor league baseball; ability to meet timelines; and, DBE/WBE/MBE representation.

Based upon our analysis and the interviews with the respondents, the staff advisory team recommends that the City enter into a contract with The Ripken Design of Baltimore, MD. We found this team to provide the most cohesive approach to the project. They bring to the table a great deal of experience negotiating baseball contracts as both a team owner and a client representative. These factors will be especially important given the abbreviated time frame within which we are working. We were especially impressed with their proposal as it pertained to site analysis and stakeholder input. In order to accomplish the scope of services as requested by the staff and responded to by the prospective firms, we shall need to move a portion of the money that had previously been allocated for this project in O1a-1 the upcoming fiscal year (FY 2013) into the current fiscal year budget. The movement of these funds reflects the accomplishment of project objectives in a more abbreviated timeline than was originally envisioned. We are requesting the movement of $55,150 into the current fiscal year budget for this project. We do not anticipate having to use all of this year’s allocation, but there are additional services, such as those associated with outside legal counsel, that may still be required as we proceed through this process.

Attached are three items. The first is a resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute a contract with Ripken Design for the provision of baseball project management services. The second item is the draft contract for the provision of service. Ripken representatives have reviewed the draft contract and have indicated their concurrence and ability to provide the scope of services within the prescribed time frame and budget. The third item is a budget ordinance to appropriate $55,150 of estimated Fiscal Year 2013 funding for feasibility and project management.

Ripken also provides a Community Website about the project if requested for $14,800. Ripken develops the website and performs all maintenance for 6 months. Passage of the attached Resolution is recommended.

Respectfully submitted,
Sterling B. Cheatham,
City Manager

Resolution City Council
City of Wilmington
North Carolina
Introduced By: Sterling B. Cheatham, City Manager Date: 4/17/2012
Resolution Awarding Contract for Baseball Project Management Services to Ripken Design of Baltimore, Maryland and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute Said Contract on the Behalf of the City of Wilmington
WHEREAS, on February 7, 2012, the Wilmington City Council did hereby authorize the City Manager to execute a Memorandum of Understanding with Mandalay Baseball Properties, LLC and the Atlanta National League Baseball Club, Inc. regarding the pursuit of a public/private partnership to plan for, finance, develop and construct a ballpark in the City; and

WHEREAS, on February 21, 2012, the Wilmington City Council authorized the expenditure of up to $123,500 for professional services such as legal, appraisal, feasibility, project management and financial advisory costs related to the successful negotiations of a contract that would permit the development of a baseball park in Wilmington; and

WHEREAS, the City of Wilmington has solicited and received proposals from private sector firms for the provision of project management services in association with the development of a baseball park in Wilmington; and,

WHEREAS, City of Wilmington staff members have reviewed and interviewed candidate firms in order to evaluate their potential effectiveness to provide the requisite baseball project management services.


THAT, the Wilmington City Council authorizes the award of a contract for the provision of baseball project management services to Ripken Design of Baltimore, Maryland and, in doing so approves the necessary contract, substantially in the form and content attached hereto as Exhibit “A” and incorporated herein by reference, but with such minor changes, modifications, additions, or deletions as necessary to clarify and define the rights and obligations of the parties

The City Manager is authorized to execute said contract in a form approved by the City Attorney. Execution of the contract shall constitute conclusive evidence of the City’s final O1a-3 approval of any and all changes, modifications, additions or deletions from the form and content of the contract attached as Exhibit “A”.

Bill Saffo, Mayor
Adopted at a ____________ meeting on ______________, 2012.
Penelope Spicer-Sidbury, City Clerk City Attorney

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3 Comments on "FIRST ON 3: The City of Wilmington’s proposal to hire Ripken Design to manage ballpark project"

Guest Reply
2015 years 10 months ago

Well…if Wilmington’s leaders had as much interest in road/sewer repair…and Wilmington’s infrastructure issues with as much vigor and interest as with this ball field thingy…this would be a modern city in the long run.
All the priorities our city leaders throw their interest…concern…and undivided attention to as a rule…usually has nothing to do with what I mentioned at first…”Infrastructure”.

2015 years 10 months ago

The previous reply makes a great point. We are so behind on infrastructure but always so ready for the next big thing! How about we fix the roads, install the sidewalks on the prviously annexed areas, and do all the other infrastructure improvements needed before we build something to bring even more people into Wilmington. Possibly the money you are spending on the ballpark consultant would have been better spent on a consultant for how to get our money back from your parking deck fiasco or the convention center. Oops,
I forgot, there are no real estate commissions or increased real estate values in those areas.

Baltimore Oriole Fan
2015 years 10 months ago

Cal Ripken, Jr. is Major League Baseball’s Iron Man, a 2007 Hall of Fame inductee and, arguably, one of the hardest working, most dedicated players in the history of the game.
According to multiple local media outlets, Wilmington City Manager Sterling Cheatham has recommended Ripken Design, owned by Mr. Ripken, as Project Manager “to act as an extension of the city” (a fiduciary relationship) to the Wilmington City Council to determine “cost, potential for economic development, evaluation of possible stadium sites and to eventually negotiate with the Braves and Mandalay Baseball for terms to operate the stadium.”

Does anyone seriously believe that Ripken Design will produce an objective, third party finding that a Single-A level minor league baseball team, subsidized by taxpayers of New Hanover County, would not be in the overall best interest of the Greater Wilmington Area? You decide.


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