Opponents of taxpayer-funded ballpark to submit petition at City Hall

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Submitted: Thu, 05/31/2012 - 2:29am
Updated: Thu, 05/31/2012 - 2:47pm

Wilmington, NC (WWAY) — The group opposed to a taxpayer-funded ballpark have collected about 4,000 signatures on a petition against bringing a taxpayer-funded baseball team to the Port City.

The group will hold a news conference on the steps of City Hall on Thursday at 1 p.m. to announce the submission of all completed petitions to the City of Wilmington.

After the press conference, the group will meet with the City Clerk’s office to turn in the completed set of petitions. This will mark the end of a long process that began in February, of collecting signatures from Wilmington citizens who are opposed to their tax dollars being used to shield private investors and developers from the financial risk of their own project.

After the group submits the petitions to the City of Wilmington, they will then be delivered to the New Hanover County Board of Elections, who will be solely responsible for verifying the eligibility of petitioners.


  • 1981duke says:

    Group has 3 in vendetta versus Saffo and Sour Grapes for past election losses,which one of 3 or all three being turned in?

  • Vog46 says:

    A lot of people like baseball including me. I have attended MiLB-AAA baseball games in the past and found them exciting inexpensive great entertainment.
    But in this case 1250 or so people were in agreement (in the survey) that baseball in Wilmington would be a good thing. However, when it comes to paying for it, the opponents of a taxpayer funded stadium have over 4000 signatures to present to Council.
    This should tell you we want it but we realize that’s its costly and that taxpayers don’t want tax money to be used exclusively.
    Mandalay has to kick in some $ to make this more palatable.
    Best Regards

  • 1981duke says:

    How about the gem of the Carolina’s stepping up and building a NEW BASEBALL STADIUM,DOWNTOWN in a beneficial public-partnership for greater community development.
    Charlotte is always perceived as the business leader in the Carolina’s no doubt,

    And public.private sector working together for a GREATER city,area.

  • ma_lashley says:

    Their investment is only $7 million, Wilmington is looking at $30-$40 million. Here’s a couple more vital statistics: Charlotte has the largest population, > 1 million in the metro area, Charlotte is using the occupancy tax to pay for it, they have the highest occupancy tax in the state, and Charlotte is the financial/business hub of the region to account for that.

    We have a beach.

    Raise the occupancy tax in the area to pay for a ballfield and some people might consider travel elsewhere.

  • Guestqqqqqqqqqq says:

    Rally at convention center to get signatures on currently worded petition – Feb 19th.

    Date of the attached email, Feb 20th.
    They know what their petition wording risks. Take a look a for yourself.


  • Ryan says:

    Next we should stop the money they are going to waste at Inland Greens!! Why does the government need to be in the “Par 3 Golf Business”!! Let me get this straight… We get our property values ‘corrected’ to reflect a more accurate value, the city spends $500,000 to make that happen, and then they raise the tax rate so the amount we ACTUALLY pay, stays the same (‘revenue nuetral’). WHY NOT LEAVE THE TAX RATE THE SAME GIVNG US ALL A TAX BREAK, AND THEN TRIM YOUR BUDGET!! Instead, the city wants us to pay for golf courses and baseball stadiums!! WTF

  • Helen says:

    The Inland Greens Golf Park is being paid for by moneys already allotted in the Park Bond. This Bond was voted for by the taxpayers some years ago. As a Park Bond, it may be used ONLY for new park purchases and maintenance on existing parks. We the taxpayers are already paying for it and other park related activities with our taxes and have no choice as we voted for it.
    It will be a par 3 nine hole course plus areas for picnics and other park activities. It will be ideal for children to learn the game and families to enjoy the park together. It will be far more family oriented than a semi-pro baseball park which is for observation not participation, and it does not come under the Park Bond. It will cost us additional tax monies if it is passed by the City Council

  • Dave says:

    Very sad that this group is potentially taking away a wonderful experience for the youth of Wilmington and the surrounding area. Some of my best memories growing up are going to watch a ballgame with my family.
    Kids involved in youth sports do better in school and in life.
    Kids look up to professional players.
    Having pro sports in Wilmington helps to encourage kids to participate in sports.
    It is unlikely that a stadium will be built in Wilmington without tax payer help.
    Conclusion: People who are not willing to invest in a stadium are not willing to invest in the betterment of the youth in Wilmington.

  • Guest33666 says:

    This is a crazy argument for spending millions of taxpayer dollars. “Kids involved in sports do better in school..” Kids aren’t going to be “involved” in sports in this instance. I don’t consider sitting at a baseball game active involvement. If you want kids “involved” then spend the money on kids in sports not semi-professional players on their way up. By the way, which kids are you speaking of? Do you really think the inner city kids that live anywhere near this baseball stadium are going to be able to afford to go with their families to any of these games?

    Besides that, most professional athletes are not ANYONE I’d want my kids looking up to. They should play the sport because it’s fun. If it’s fun it will sell itself.

    Why baseball? Why not tennis, soccer, football, basketball, etc.? It’s ridiculous to take ONE certain pastime that appeals to a specific segment of the population and asks all of the citizens of a city to pay for it.

    How about the kids who have families that own other leisure/pasttime type of businesses in this town? Families, unlike the city, are not going to magically find more money to go spend on leisure activities in this town. What they will do is not spend it somewhere else in town at a LOCALLY OWNED BUSINESS and instead will save it to send to these guys who will forward it on to their home office in Atlanta or whereever. I’m sure the kids of those families that lose money on the deal will be MUCH better off. I’m sure the kids of the families who have to cut out their after school activities to tighten their budgets to pay their higher taxes to pay for your baseball stadium won’t be seeing these “involvement” benefits either.

    In order to afford to take a family of four to a game I’m guessing it will be around $50-$100. Tickets at around $12 each and then say $30-40 for 4 hot dogs, some soda and popcorn. Considering there are likely going to be multiple games per week, how many families do you think can afford to do that more than once every few weeks or even once a month?

    Let’s just tell the truth. You want baseball because you love it and so that the wealthy families who love baseball can go enjoy it too.

    That doesn’t sound so good for the rest of us who will be subsidizing your pasttime.

  • 1981duke says:

    36 million Charlotte kicking in.
    Total cost is 74 million.
    7 million,inaccurate

  • ma_lashley says:

    I’ll be the first to admit a correction if I’m wrong, but in general you just don’t say “you’re wrong” without providing the citation. I’m not going to hunt the whole Charlotte Observer website to prove your point but here’s what I found which reinforces my statement:

    “City staffers propose giving the team more than $7 million from hotel and motel tax revenues. The rest would come from an uptown booster group”

    Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/05/30/3277374/charlotte-council-close-to-baseball.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy

    “Mecklenburg County already has pledged $8 million for the stadium and $24 million in uptown property. If the city approves the $8.5 million, taxpayers would pay for more than half the project’s $78 million cost.”

    Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/05/28/3274031/city-to-reveal-latest-plan-for.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy

    That $8.5 million was $6M cash + a $2.5 million rebate on property tax. Now it’s apparently $7 million according to the latest article. The county is chipping in $8M. cash plus land which, in theory, has already been paid for by county funds and doesn’t represent an actual outlay of $24 million for residents to repay. Notice the last phrase, “taxpayers would pay for more than half the project’s (sic) cost.”

    Half. Given the combined size of Mecklenburg/Charlotte, city and county taxpayers are bearing out half. Trask/Flywheel is asking just Wilmington city residents to bear out at least 75% of this venture. Do the math and you’ll see that this is a disproportionate burden on the City of Wilmington taxpayers in comparison.

    If I’m wrong I’ll read where you got your information but be specific.

  • 1981duke says:

    Tickets to range 5 to $15.00.
    Aberage 7-$9.00 and pro side people far outwiigh the con side

  • guesty says:

    Actually the “aberage” would be $10 dollars and the people against tax money being used far “outwiigh” the sponge side.

  • Guest CommonTater says:

    Because of what the pro side tells you? Everybody I have asked personally are opposed to taxpayer money being used. Let the taxpayers vote! That’s the way is should work. Is it the nanny councils job to tell everybody they need baseball or something? The council works for the voters but they seem to be forgetting that… so are you.

  • Vog46 says:

    The survey asked if baseball would be a good thing for Wilmington and the majority agreed – heck I agree.
    When asked how to pay for it though things changed dramatically.
    And the petitions against using taxpayer monies for it were gathered quickly and over 4,000 people signed them.
    I do believe 4000 is a bigger majority than your 1240 people in the survey.
    If Mandalay were to kick in even 50% like the team in Charlotte is doing I think it would fly here. The fact that they haven’t proposed this tells me they’re suspicious of their own attendance numbers.
    The team in Charlotte also has County input – does Wilmington have New Hanover County’s help?

    Best regards

  • 1981duke says:

    More lower priced seatsmthan high priced seats.
    Average price 7-$9.00 per paying person,breaks for seniors,adults.
    In proposal showed to City,available on City webpage.

  • 1981duke says:

    Answer is is header.

  • 1981duke says:

    Thanks for setting those “naysayers’ right.
    A good community project.

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