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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — At closer look, the petition against a taxpayer-funded ballpark is raising some eyebrows. City leaders say the petition, could affect established area teams, and those teams are worried, too.

“It’s one of those things where I think it’s kind of sketchy, the language that’s in there,” Andrew Aguilar, General Manager of the Wilmington Sharks baseball team, said.

The petition against a taxpayer-funded ballpark is not necessarily a home run with other area teams. Bill Rudisill, majority owner of the Hammerheads soccer team says he does not want a taxpayer-funded ballpark. Still, he is worried if the petition becomes law, it could have some bad effects on his team.

“I don’t want to react negatively, but just sort of let it play out and see where it goes, but, yes, if it’s a lot of money, it could possibly put us out of business,” Rudisill said.

Organizers of that petition say this was never part of their plan. They say city leaders are bringing up the other teams as a scare tactic.

“We reached out to the city attorney. What do we have to do for a grandfather clause? What do we have to do for some of these things that will clearly keep that off the radar; the Legion Stadiums and all that sort of stuff off the radar? They wouldn’t talk to us, so what could we do?” petition organizer Ben McCoy said.

Interim City Attorney Bill Wolak said he did not help petitioners, because it would be unethical to when the city had a different position to their overall message. Regardless, this petition and the language in it cannot be changed, because they have been turned in. Now it’s a waiting game to see if the signatures are verified.

“Until it actually has been validated and stuff, that’s when I think we’ll take a look and see what direction we need to go in,” Aguilar said.

Both the Hammerheads and Sharks say they use limited funds from the city, but both play at city-owned facilities.

Councilman Kevin O’Grady says this petition could affect their contracts at the Legion Sports Complex.

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39 Comments on "Anti-ballpark petition has other teams worried"

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2016 years 2 months ago

how can you possibly continue to note numbers which are invalid?

Look at the Lynchburg website. 10 Full time employees, not the 30 to 35 you would have everyone believe.

Seasonal jobs — how about they would only work 70 days, possibly up to 5 hours each of those days.

This is not some great job creator.

On another note, I don’t see any corporation in this equation. Try LLC which is far different. They can walk, at any time, from a 30 year lease. That’s no more of a gaurantee than some pro athlete contracts which tout $100 Million;… Read more »

2016 years 2 months ago

Titan wants to come here and GE is expanding.

2016 years 2 months ago

I am completely opposed to this stadium being built with taxpayers’ money. However, I think that the petition should have been worded to keep future stadiums from being built with taxpayers’ money. In my opinion the wording of the petition would keep the city from funding Legion Stadium, which I believe is maintained under the city’s parks a rec department. If this is the case, the professional teams who currently use Legion Stadium are not the only ones who will be affected. If the city is not allowed to continue funding for Legion Stadium where will that leave New Hanover… Read more »

2016 years 2 months ago

PPD was given a tax break, and a temporary one at that.
They built the building with their own money. They don’t provide 30 jobs they provide HUNDREDS of jobs
Same with GE, Corning, and Verizon.

In some cases Duke incentives become very acrimonious. I personally don’t have a problem with them when the RETURN is at the level that PPD, Verizon, GE and Corning provide.

As I’ve said before I love baseball. But to give an incentive of $23M with limited – very limited return is fiscal insanity.

Will Mandalay agree to 7 years of tax free incentives – with no… Read more »

2016 years 2 months ago

why not throw some chips on the table and offer to be a minority member of the LLC which will build and operate the albatross?

You and Devil seem so certain this is a no-brainer, money maker, have you rushed to join the investors who will pleadge their financial well being to build this thing? If it’s such a good deal, think how prosperous you’ll be by year 2.

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