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StarNews winding down ballpark survey

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The StarNews wants your opinion on the plan for a minor league ballpark in Wilmington.

About 1,500 people have responded in the newspaper's online poll. You can give your input through Sunday on questions like will a minor league team will benefit Wilmington, if tax money should help build it and how often you would go?

Click here to take the survey.

The StarNews will share the results next week.

In March a survey by WWAY, The Big Talker FM and the Civitas Institute found voters in Wilmington largely support the idea of a ballpark, but most voters are against the idea of using taxpayer money to build it.

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.

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Baseball

I don't play baseball and I have never watched a full game. I am NOT opposed to baseball being located in Wilmington.

One of the things that distresses me about the "Baseball Plan" that is being worked on? Taxpayers like myself, are going to be forced to spend the money we earn to pay for someone else's entertainment.

I have been to the public meetings so far. I want to get the facts where they originate. Thus far, I am unimpressed with the way this deal is going down. It is obvious that poor decisions have already been made. I have also checked out Mandalay's and Atlanta Braves information on their websites. Additionally I have looked at the websites of the communities where they (Mandalay) have teams located. Unfortunately, when you start looking at the facts, it leads to more doubt and more questions.

Government has it's place and while I agree that government should be involved in business development activities, I strongly disagree with government being involved in funding , operating or otherwise maintaining a PRIVATE ENTERPRISE VENTURE.

What the heck are members of the city council thinking? Now they are putting another slant on the project because Mandalay and the Atlanta Braves know it's unlikely to "fly" as a baseball stadium. The want the media to advertise it as a "Family Entertainment Complex". I took the survey that the Star News has online. I hope the options they asked about are not the best that can be dreamed up: bingo night, movie night, etc. REALLY? ARE YOU GUYS SERIOUS? When is the last time you saw Bingo night draw a huge crowd? If this idea was a good one, we would have Bingo parlors all over, I personally don't know where even one is!

So they say 32.5 million to 35.7 million to build the stadium without the land or anything else. No one was able to tell us how much this thing would really cost even though they have done this several times before, what a poor bunch of professionals this is or maybe they just don't want the Wilmington taxpayers to know the real truth about the cost.

I sat in at the city council meeting when Mandalay made their presentation and as a small business person I was able to guesstimate from what they were saying that the real cost, which includes having to do upgrades to whatever the surrounding area needs to support the 6200 seat stadium, is likely to be about 68 -72 MILLION dollars. That doesn't include the additional cost of city support services over the 30 year life which I'm sure will include the need for added police, fire and other human resources that are hidden costs of having the stadium. There are others but i think you get the idea. Let me just say that if I am wrong about the cost figures I have stated it is because the facts of the project are being given in a VERY sketchy manner, if at all, so I have to base my figures on what I have been able to gleen from Mandalay.

They told us they would pay 10 million over 30 years and that their estimate of revenues for Wilmington from the stadium were about 62 million dollars. According to the math this does not add up to be a good deal for Wilmington.

On top of all that, it is still a private enterprise operation and who will be receiving all the income from whatever revenue is generated? Well, Mandalay, The Atlanta Braves, and the companies of their choice who provide the support services like concessions, parking, etc. Sadly, if it does extremely well, it appears that Wilmington can expect to receive 10 million over 30 years (350,000 a year) and if it does poorly the Wilmington taxpayer will saddled with the debt and the maintenance for 30 YEARS!!!!!

My parting rhetorical comment is this: I have a small business that is beneficial for members of the Wilmington community. If the Wilmington City Council votes to force taxpayers to pay for this project, can I go to the city council and get some tax money to support my private enterprise business? I promise it won't cost the taxpayers anywhere near as much as this baseball idea, it will continue to serve members of the Wilmington community in a positive way, and the bulk of all the revenue our business generates will stay right here in Wilmington instead of going to other communities at the taxpayers expense! Now that's a great idea :-)

BEEN TO RALEIGH LATELY FOR A

BEEN TO RALEIGH LATELY FOR A BALL GAME? THERE IS NOT ENOUGH PARKING AND THAT CITY IS BIGGER THAN WILMINGTON. WHATS GOING TO HAPPEN HERE. SAME THING THAT IS HAPPENING AT WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH NOT ENOUGH PARKING. HELLO PEOPLE TAXES ARE TO HIGH HERE NOW AND TRAFFIC IS TOO BAD IN AND AROUND THE COUNTY NOT TO MENTION TRYING TO CROSS THE CONGESTED BRIDGES WITH CONSTRUCTION GOING ON DURING THE BUSIEST TIMES OF THE DAY. PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES ARE LEAVING TO NEIGHBORING COUNTIES BECAUSE OF THIS. YOU WANT TO HELP LET TITAN COME IN, THAT WILL HELP MORE, AND OUR TAXES WONT HAVE TO PAY FOR IT. ULTIMATELY IF A BALL FIELD COMES HERE PUBLIC OR PRIVATE IT WILL FAIL, AND THE COUNTY WILL GET IT AND GUESS WHAT WE WILL HAVE TO PAY MORE TAXES TO KEEP IT UP ITS THE GOVERNMENT WAY. STAND UP AND DONT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN, WE NEED TO GET CONTROL OF OUR COUNTY GOVERNMENT AND THERE EXCESSIVE SPENDING.

Simple Business !!

I have read so many posts where people say, Why dont developers use their money and build the stadium if it is such a good idea. Well the entire venture is a good idea and I hope to show your readers why developers don,t want to own the property and would rather have the city own the stadium. Lets use Walmart as an example. Lets call Mandalay, The Braves and Trask the Developers, or Walmart. Walmart does business all over the country but they never own or want to own there facilities. Wal Mart always wants to be the tenant. The Developers in this case want to be tenants and they are willing to see to it that enough money is generated from their product so that the landlord, or City of Wilmington collects enough rent to make the loan payments. In this case the rent money comes from various sources. The challenge before the City is that this money comes to them from the private sector and as little as possible from the public sector.On June 15th we should know much more about the revenue stream. Now, Why the developers do not want to own. Trask sees this as an economic development project and will be a major player in the development that will come from the stadium and the surrounding area. They will depreciate there investment and in thirty years either redevelop the property or give it to the city so they can move on to other projects. Mandalay and The Braves will honor their 20 yr. commitment and either renew or move on. The city may become owner of a worn facility and will need to redevelop or Trask may want to stay involved. The City will be much larger in thirty years and one might have confidence that the city will in thirty years be in a position to attract an advanced professional sports team as has Raleigh, Charlotte and Greensboro. The cycle by design is never ending. You can look to any major city and see how their stadiums have evolved and only gotten bigger and better. The developers are not trying to pull anything on the city, they are just following the playbook that has made them very successful.

Government involvement in private venture

If I were a business person with a great idea or a venture and I thought it would generate money, the last this I would want is for the government, local, state or fed to be involved in the venture. I would risk my money and I would reap the benefit, that is the way businesses are in a free society. The fact that the owners want government involvement is because they know this business will never stand on its own and they need the public funds (Taxes) to pay for their venture.

Private Baseball

When all is said and done, there may be 2 people in Wilmington who do not want to see Baseball come to Wilmington, on the surrounding area. The issue: No Tax Payer monies should be used for financing or funding. The Cities own former Consultant on several major projects including the Convention Center, indicated a short time ago that Public/Private projects, of this nature, do not work. If this is a good deal for the investors, super. Go make it happen. But without encumbering the Tax Payers of Wilmington for 30 years on a lick and a promise.

2 Shey (Stadium)

2 Shey (Stadium)

In Macroeconomics...

...this is what's known as a capital good. There is no profit incentive for the private sector to build a lighthouse, but for the greater economic good, the government recognizes the need and builds it. Economic good comes from the lighthouse being built. Ships don't go on the rocks, lives are saved, and the cheap stuff from China stays cheap at local stores.

The stadium might be considered a capital good. There may not be a direct profit in the stadium, but businesses and the community (at large) will benefit.

I could go enjoy and evening at the ballpark for a lot cheaper than taking my family to Jungle Rapids for an evening. I've experienced both forms of entertainment (minor league game vs. Jungle Rapids).

When Buck Hardee Stadium had a Steve Miller concert a few years back, it was jam-packed. I scratched my head over why this isn't being done more often. This new venue would likely be even better for that type of entertainment.

I couldn't agree more. If

I couldn't agree more. If it's such a money maker you would think investors would be lining up.