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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — With the City of Wilmington talking next year’s budget, we wanted to find out how much it would cost to run the Convention Center and where the money would come from.

“All of the money to fund the Convention Center comes from one of two sources: revenue generated by the center or room occupancy tax monies, which has nothing to do with property tax money whatsoever,” city spokeswoman Malissa Talbert said.

The Convention Center and its funding needs have worried taxpayers in the past, but the city says you have no need to fear. It estimates the total operating cost of the Convention Center to be around $7.3 million. That money is expected to come from more than $5 million of room occupancy tax, $15,000 of parking deck revenue, nearly $600,000 of event income and $1.5 million in concessions and catering.

The event income number increased over this year, because the city says the center is now more established. It expects that number to go up even more when a hotel arrives next door.

Despite all of that, the city says the Convention Center itself is not expected to be the real bread maker.

“What it’s designed to do, and what it is doing, is putting money into the coffers of the businesses of our community,” Talbert said. “That’s why it’s a public building: so it can benefit everyone in the community, not make money for the city per se.”

It cost around $7.6 million to run the Convention Center this year. The city says most of that was covered by an increased amount of room occupancy tax. The city has been saving up that tax since 2003.

Comment on this Story

  • 1981duke

    When Baseball Team comes here both convention center bookings and hotel and lodging bookings will explode.
    All working together has massive revenue impact.

  • 1981duke

    Have been to a Bulls,Pelicans,Indians up and back same day.
    Answer,yes.
    People drive if something they want to see.same will happen here especially on weekends.

  • taxpayer

    Would you care to cite verifiable statistics to back up your statement? Verifiable based upon other cities of similar size and demographics where baseball had an impact and at what cost to the taxpayers?

  • Guest1986

    Instead of building a convention center, the city council should have used the money to fix the DARN ROADS!!!! I’ll bet we would have enough money to construct an interchange at College and Oleander and widen and extend Independence Blvd north to MLK,

  • 1981duke

    Taxpayer,
    People will visit games from ex town and will need a place to sleep and eat,possibly convene.
    I have been to many conferences and all I can remeber had Convention Centers along with 1-2-3 professional sport draws.
    When you have all the factors working together the benefits in revenues far outweigh the costs of building.
    A gigantic economic kick-start.
    Do we not need this?

  • ChefnSurf

    … about adding insult to injury.

    What everyone really knows is that this white elephant is chomping through its fodder of ROC at an unsustainable rate. Sooner, rather than later it’ll have to feed from other sources. That’s the injury.

    The real tragedy though is that city leaders are still comfortable looking taxpayers right in the eye and knowingly not tell them the truth. Knowingly spin out to them some candied-up version of what’s really going on. That’s the insult.

    Wilmingtonian’s are already stuck with one white elephant and if they’re not careful, possibly two. What they’re not stuck with though are the city leaders and their cronies who’ve been sticking it to them. What they do about that is the one thing that is totally within their control.

  • Guest7969

    DID get the memo that this was a SINGLE A team…I’m not driving THREE miles to watch ’em!

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    The people came from within fifty miles and drove home after the game.

    No one travels any great distance to see a farm team play.

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