WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Members of Wilmington City Council have unanswered questions after Mandalay Baseball’s proposal last night. Some want more private dollars involved. Even so, they believe a ballpark would be a big boost to Wilmington’s economy.
“It’s not about a bunch of guys dressing up and playing a game on a field, this is about economic development,” said Wilmington City Councilwoman, Margaret Haynes.
That’s why city council says it is doing its due diligence when it comes to building a ballpark. Tuesday night, Mandalay Baseball said the expected cost for a stadium is $33 to $36 million. Flywheel-Trask, the private investors, will contribute $10.5 million toward that cost. Some council members hope that number goes up.
“This has to be done in a very responsible, orderly fashion and that’s why we have National Sports to meet our fiduciary responsibility to the citizens,” Haynes said.
Council members still have many questions when it comes to Mandalay’s proposal, including where’s the ballpark going to go? Mayor Pro-tem Earl Sheridan says he would still like to see it in the proposed site downtown.
“Of course I’m willing to look at other things but I’m hopeful that some sort of site that’s in the downtown area will be one that is chosen and can work for this thing,” Sheridan said.
City council members say they did not ask questions following the presentation because they are going to wait for its consultant, NSS, to analyze it first.
They say this is just the beginning of a process they hope will bring minor league baseball to the Port City.
“Theres been a lot of excitement since we’ve been talking about this thing so yeah, I do see it building,” said Sheridan. “I’m just hoping that we can get some more specifics.”
City council members say no final decision has been made on funding.
the city manager and project manager will review the preliminary proposal before they further discuss deal terms.