22 Comments for this article

Tags: ,


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s no doubt the idea of bringing a ballpark to the Port City is a hotly contested issue. There are passionate folks on both sides of the plate.

The group against a tax-funded stadium is preparing to turn their petitions in to Wilmington city leaders. They held one last rally at Empie Park Saturday to get more folks to sign. Co-organizer Josh Fulton said the process of collecting signatures has been grueling, rewarding and exhausting. He’s glad it’s coming to an end.

“I think we are going to win,” Fulton said. “I think that the baseball stadium won’t be funded with taxpayer dollars. I see some of the council wavering, which is a good thing. Based on the deal that they have, so that bodes well for us. I don’t think we’ll see a publicly-funded baseball stadium.”

Fulton said they’ve got more than 3,000 signatures so far. The group plans to present them to city council either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Comment on this Story

  • GuestBee

    For folks who can read, the petition was very easy to understand and straightforward. I can understand, though, how some folks who struggle with their verbage might not understand it.

  • Gooddays

    If this ordinance goes through, McCoy and Fulton will be facing a backlash from Sharks, Hammerheads, Legion 10 baseball, Tigers and NHH baseball/football.

    There’s no backsies on the petition wording once submitted and I think most have no clue what it’s affect will be. Sit back and watch the fireworks.

  • 1981duke

    Professional Sports,any Sports funded by city or taxpayers is “doomed” as well as entertainment.
    I firmly believe most people that signed this DID NOT understand the actual verbage and impact.
    If so,who would sign…….no one.

  • Mike T

    But I wanna play some ball. Don’t make me mad because I’ll stomp my feet.

  • frontpaige

    Most have no objection to a baseball stadium coming to town. The objection to the stadium: Those wanting to play,
    ask the taxpayer to pay…for 30 years. Government should not be in the business of baseball.
    It will create few long term jobs and take business away from existing area business…with a high cost to area taxpayers. Strike three.
    The voters should call this game.

  • 1981duke

    Based on what you say,you obviously have not seen proposal.

  • Guestbr549

    Signatures will mean nothing. The only way to stop the use of tax dollars to fund a private business is to file a law suit. It is obvious that no matter what meetings, groups, discussions take place, the city will push this ball park down our throats. It is also obvious that as hard as they are pushing it, someone has promised cash or some kind of kickback to the powers that be.

  • 1981duke

    Nothing,when people wake up and say.”i signed what”?.
    For those who signed I hope you read verbage and text clearly and you have many City endorsed Sports and Entertainment activities.
    This will have far greater negative,than positive impact.

  • Guest 1948

    Good luck Fulton to you and all the others, myself included, who are opposed to this tax payer based project if you think you are “going to win.” As I’ve said numerous times it’s pretty much a done deal and I seriously doubt what the people in New Hanover Co. wants matters to the select, elite few running City Hall. If our opinion mattered why would they hold “closed door” sessions to discuss the issue in “small numbers” according to the Star News to avoid State Open Meetings laws? Something smells here.

  • 1981duke

    Rumor all abound is the petition vernacular is illegal,will not pass the legal test.
    Anyone else heard this?

  • 1981duke

    How many signatures are needed and what happens next if all signatures are valid.City votes June 19th.

  • 1981duke

    If you follow the process,you would know.
    Tonight at 6:30 MAY 29TH at CITY COUNCIL show and you can see.
    Come if you really care,blogging will not solve your concerns.

  • Chris

    Surf, the proposal was never intended to be an ‘end all’. If the city liked certain aspects of it (like not owning the property, thus being able to collect property taxes on it etc) they can keep those and negotiate the rest.

    Everyone seems to think that any deal present is set in stone, everything is negotiable.

  • SurfCityTom

    are they not presenting a revision either todayat 1:00 or on June 10? This proposal changes more often than a chameleon.

    But why not take the time to show all of us educated taxpayers just how wrong we are.

    If you’re going to talk the talk, then walk the walk.

  • SurfCityTom

    I understand that. However, the proposal presented lays 90%, I believe that is correct, of the debt service on the city taxpayers. If the team departs, jump that up to 100%.

    The only thing which seems set in stone are the outlandish promises of things to come with no substance to back up the promises.

    If this is such a great deal, one would think the developer could set up an LLC to build; solicit participation from all of these posters whp promise a horn of plenty; and pay for construction with cash and money left in the bank.

    Anyone who thinks out of towners, in large number, will drive to Wilmington to see Class A Baseball, is delusional at best and more likely on drugs.

    Everytime these supporters hold up Durham, WS, or Greensboro as shining examples of success, they are challenged with fact. They run away and come back under a new identity. And hawk the same old promises. Candidly, some of them like Mikey and BlueDevil sound more like carnival hucksters; they are doing more harm to the proposal with their huckstering then if they remained silent and let the proposal be laid out.

    When it fails the smell test, that should say something about the hucksters.

  • 1981duke

    This one.

    The taxpayers DO NOT get:

    1) Cost of insurance on the stadium – Mandalay/Braves do
    2) Everyday operational expenses – Mandalay/Braves do
    3) Maintenance and repair costs – Mandalay/Braves do
    4) Cost of employees for stadium, etc – Mandalay/Braves do
    5) City will share in the financial risk AND benefits
    6) Stadium will be privately owned and THE CITY WILL RECEIVE property taxes – in excess of a hundred thousand per year

    The Taxpayers and local merchants DO GET:

    1) Tens of thousands of out-of-town visitors coming into Wilmington spending $millions$ at area merchants and other attractions
    2) Sales and use taxes from area visitors
    3) Parking fees worth hundreds of thousands per year – several millions long term
    4) Investment capital and expanded tax base from the private development that will follow the stadium and help revitalize the riverfront
    5) Increased property values in the CBD and surrounding areas
    6) An additional attraction and material capital asset to help leverage and provide synergies with our existing assets downtown…(e.,g. convention center)
    7) Increased awareness for our city in major metro markets as a result of visiting teams and their press corps
    Significant benefits to our all important tourism and visitor businesses – hence Tourism Development Authority, WAHA and Chamber support
    9) Major entertainment venue for use and enjoyment by all area residents…..94% of survey respondents said they would attend concerts at the facility

    At the end of the day, the benefits, both economic and quality of life, that go to the public FAR EXCEED those that go to the private investors.

    Perhaps that is why over 70% of survey respondents say the presence of a team in Wilmington would be beneficial…..

  • Guest1948

    Sounds very familiar, tc …. I’m in the same boat!!


  • tc mercer

    I can’t afford to pay for a ball stadium. I’m on a fixed income but I have to pay local taxes at the same rate as those who have lots of money. I would probably never go to a ballgame because I don’t have extra money for expensive tickets, those outrageous prices for snacks, and transportation. When are the public officials going to start looking after all the people who put them in office and not just those who have money and plans to ride the backs of those everyday people who have lived here all their lives. I believe the lower middle class people are being pushed down and slowly killed off. I don’t feel I’m living in a free country because my freedoms are being taken away. Does that sound familiar?

  • 1981duke

    So we would rather pay people unemployment insurance than give people jobs and hope?
    Pay now or Pay later but we will be paying…

  • 1981duke

    This maybe a job for you and people here.
    We have movies come here,employ less.
    We are talking about 650 jobs year 1 and 130-140 jobs once stadium built.
    So may be a chance for you.others.
    But doing nothing yields nothing.

  • GuestMan

    Are you city council or an employee of Mandalay or the Braves?

  • 1981duke

    Region,looking at the best opportunity for the “Port City” and this sure has tremendous promise,what do you think?


Related News