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Ballpark opponent states his case after proponent backs out of on-air debate


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- When it comes to bringing a ballpark to Wilmington, everyone has an opinion, but there are two particular groups that are not shy about voicing theirs.

WWAY had two guests confirmed to join Ashley Jacobs on "Good Morning Carolina" today for a live debate on the issue, but a representative from a pro-ballpark group backed out.

Chuck Kuebler from Port City Baseball agreed to talk about why he thinks a publicly-funded stadium is a good idea for Wilmington. However, he later contacted WWAY to say he would not be willing to come on our show. Kuebler said the group could not talk, but would not explain why.

Instead of the debate that was planned, Josh Fulton, a Wilmingtonian against a publicly-funded stadium, had the floor to himself.

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.


Make the Trip

Had a wonderful opportunity this past Sunday to witness first hand how the redevelopment project in Durham really works. Attended the Broadway play Wicked at the Durham Center for the Performing Arts. Had lunch at Tobacco Road. The sports Bar that towers over the left field wall of the Durham Bulls Stadium. Having known Durham in my childhood, I was totally amazed. I challenge all those so opposed to Wilmington having this development come here. Take the time to go see for yourself. The Theater seats 2000 every performance during the month of May was sold out. The tickets averaged $108 per ticket. Ignorance is no excuse folks!

But Mikey

how about the rest of the story?

The area redeveloped was run down and filled with closed buildings in need of significant repair and rehabilitation.

The stadium did provide a base upon which PRIVATE investors and real estate owners could work around.

If you were so familiar with Durham, how could this be a surprise. That redevelopment took place over a nearly 10 year time frame.

The area was so run down; buildings were in such need of repair, that property values and tax revenues could do nothing but go up.

I notice too, you failed to address available tax incentives which helped fuel that redevelopment.

And Mikey, how was the new Durham stadium construction funded?

That is not the case in Wilmington. None of the proposed sites are in areas open to significant rehabilitation. Are you trying to say the PPD site is in need of similar rehabilitation?

And I notice, you fail to mention Greensboro or Winston Salem, neither of which have had that same type of re-development.

If you're going to do a comparison, how about making it similar items.

Comparing a watermelon to an apple is hardly a fair or valid comparison.

You're right; ignorance is no excuse. You seem to think Wilmington proerty tax payers are going to fall for your palavering just because it spouts from you.

Classic Political self-promoting here....nothing more

Ben and Josh, in their ongoing effort to stay in the political spotlight without offering any ideas nor leadership of their own are in fact obstructing an initiative in an area heavily dependent on tourism to power its economy when:

1) the local Tourism Development Authority tells us it is good for area tourism,

2)96% of the hospitality association members say it benefits their businesses and,
3)71% of area residents say it is beneficial to the city.....

Seems clearly a case of putting their own personal political agenda first rather than an opportunity to provide meaningful economic benefits to the area.....

May 29th at 6:30PM at City Council

See the future of Wilmington,unveiled and whether PRO or CON show and see,as way too much inuendo out there!
Stadium and Braves for progression.


I gather you did not attend the meeting. A lot of frustration was aired. An approval rate of 47% was aired.

Not much specific future was displayed.

You're doing more harm than good for stadium supporters.

Keep up the postings.

I think it speaks volumes

I think it speaks volumes that one side backed out of the debate. What does he have to hide?

I think it Speak volumes

not really and look over past 4 months.
How many good things has WWAY said on TV Pro-stadium and baseball.
The poor guy was probably going to be grilled from WWAY and the Con side.
Why enter a dialog,you have no chance to win.
WWAY is to blame as they might not want stadium or baseball but they can at least address the Pro-side professionally,and this is Bad Journalism for sure,irresponsible journalism.


Wake the flip up...we are talking about a SINGLE A team here...the LOWEST of the low...and they want US the tax payers to spend 30 MILLION on it..YOU WILL NEVER see the Braves will NEVER happen...this team ISN'T the Braves...

Single A
Double A
Triple A
Major League

GO away with this crap!

Ball Park

It will smell like urine.......

You mean

from all of those street entertainers who can panhandle?

That was certainly an unsound decision by the Council.

But then, perhaps a portion of the funds required to pay the city's 90% portion of the debt will come from licensing fees for the street entertainers.

No doubt the city will have to hire someone to walk the streets and collect the license fees from the entertainers.

All cash; make it a 3 day, renewable license, yeah, another source of revenue for the city to use in paying its portion of the stadium debt service.


Be original as well as sane


I think you are not very sane there duke entity. You seem to trust the council that they have the taxpayer's best interest in mind. Quite laughable to say the least.... These clowns belong in a circus. Baseball that is funded in any way shape or form by the taxpayer will be a huge failure.... wake up.


Yes quite sane and if you see the plan on May 29th you will be impressed.The problem is that people think City Council amd Mayor all getting rich on thos and that is not true.
The winners are the Area,County,and City residents as this stadium and Team will be the best thing in our area the past 25 years.I give City guts for pursuing after County backed out,and I have lost alot of respect for County for showing no support,pointing fingers like little children they look silly..

Sorry 1981dukie....

...he has a very valid point. Ever try walking around downtown Wilmington on a Sunday morning dodging puke and piss puddles?

The problem isn't that the

The problem isn't that the people don't want a stadium. I think if you ask everyone, most people would say that they would welcome more baseball to the area. The problem is that the City of Wilmington cannot afford to fund it and a majority of the taxpayers don't want the higher taxes required to fund the stadium. If this was such a good economic boost and just a great investment, then why aren't private parties stepping up to the plate to fully fund this stadium? If the council goes ahead with this the only people who benefit are those who build the stadium.


Baseball is fine. No problem with baseball. Build a ballpark with baseball industry money, private investor money , or YOUR money.
Leave taxpayer money out of your 'field of dreams' for Wilmington. It's not my dream AND I do not think it is a sound financial investment for the city, or the type investment our city should make with taxpayer money.
The majority of Wilmington residents do not attend baseball games or share your dream. Does any of this mean anything to taxpayer-funded baseball stadium advocates.
Dream your dream: go privately funded baseball go, but please leave taxpayer money out of the game.

More Debt, Please!

Currently, the City of Wilmington owes over $200 millions in debt. Nearly half of the money taken in by the City goes to nothing but debt service.
Building a baseball stadium under these circumstances would be the equivalent of someone whose home is going into foreclosure installing an in-ground swimming pool.


The revenues brought in will reduce the debt.
If not the taxpayer will have to pay all past debt,this will reduce debt.improve City financial position

single A?

The problem is that its a single A team. Most of these players are right out of high school or at best just finishing college. The quality of baseball will not be as good as UNCW or the Sharks. Look at their attendance and you can expect the same. Coastal Adult baseball is where it at...Come see us play!

baseball and taxes

I guess this is why the founding fathers only let property owners vote. Nobody in the right mind, owning real taxable property would vote for this...even the business owners downtown are against this.

Actually No

I own a house and would gladly throw a $100 a year at this project to improve Wilmington. Pretty much everyone I know say the same thing.

I like your founding fathers idea though. Don't let the guys heading up this campaign vote on it because apparently they don't even pay property taxes.

As far as downtown businesses being against it, that's a big pile of bull. I have worked downtown for over a decade and the far majority of business owners that I know are thrilled about this possibility.

Yeah, the idea of thousands of people shopping, eating, buying downtown before a game or concert horrifies business owners.

baseball and taxes

Chamber of Commerce survry results are 96% of City Merchants want this badly

Single A

UNCW and SHARKS are a better brand of baseball than Single-A?
Not even close as maybe 5 UNCW players max per year play for pay and Sharks paid nothing at all.This is HUMOROUS what you write......too funny!

Why Wilmington? Why Baseball? Why Stadium?

Because we are America,this America's game,and it is the "American" thing to do.Is any more reasons to justify needed aside of economic and social benefits,have all the "bases" been covered.
Do not ask Why?
Ask,Why not?

Perhaps a better question

is how will it be paid for?

Do you work for the A-Braves or have a vested interest in that overpriced river front parcel of land?

Are you by chance, Mike T?

Why not just take the proposal, line item by line item, and show everyone how the numbers really crunch out?

I've already done that with ticket sales. The city does not get $1.00 per ticket sold untel ticket 300,001 has sold. It's in the proposal, in black and white.

The ball is in your court now.

Either walk the walk or be silent.

perhaps a better Question

Come and see the May 29th City site selection by NSS and you will learn many details,many questions will be adressed here,in person

Why Not

take your own advice? Hold off on the hot air postings. At the very least, analyze the most recent proposal and see it for what it is. Nothing which will benefit Wilmington taxpayers in its current form. And face it, the city will not get ONE dollar of ticket sale revenue until after 300,000 have sold. Thst's pretty specific and in writing.

Care to take another section of the proposal and do the same type of number crunching?

But then, how do you know what the meeting today will cover? It's been billed as an interim report. The final report and recomendations are not due out until 06/10.

So I am Not a Good American???

It looks like your are saying if we're not for this, we're not good Americans??? I am third generation from a military family. I have been in live combat overseas, lost friends and family members fighting for this country. I and my family live, bleed red, white and blue, but you say we are bad Americans because we dont want our hard earned $$ paying for irresponsible sports stadium when city can hardly meet current money obligations??? You are a fool or a joker for saying that.

Memorial Day and Weekend

Just think in two years we can celebrating Memorial Day with a Downtown Parade,Street Fairs,A night Baseball Game on the River,ending in a Firework Display..........awesome Family Fun huh?

Just think in two years we

Just think in two years we can have bankrupt city because they overextended not only their authority, but their coffers as well. Also, in two years you could have an onslaught of Wilmingtonians either selling their homes because they can no longer afford to pay for the stadium or having to declare bankruptcy because they can no longer pay their legitimate bills.

The only ones benefiting from this are the developers who will build the thing. After all, they are the only ones who have benefited from the convention center