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Braves/Mandalay want $50K fine per day if stadium is late

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WILMINGTON, NC (STARNEWS)-- An initial lease proposed by the Atlanta Braves and operating partner Mandalay Baseball has some Wilmington City Council members laughing.

Elected leaders contacted by the StarNews initially scoffed when told a lease being proposed by Mandalay and the Braves for a baseball stadium includes completing the building by March 2014 and charging the city $50,000 a day if it's not done by then.

"We're certainly not going to pay fines, rent, any kind of punishment handed down by them," Councilman Neil Anderson said.

Some council members, though they had not yet seen the proposed lease, balked when told of some of its details. The proposed lease agreement for stadium construction was sent to city staff Tuesday night after council decided to put a bond referendum for a stadium on the November ballot.

To read the rest of this story check out the StarNews Online.

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CatBird Seat

For those of you that live in the shadows and only see the dark side, you may not recognize it but the City of Wilmington just jumped into the Cat Bird seat related to dealing with Mandalay. You may not know it but Mandalay knows it! The NSS report is gold to the city. Mandalay and the Braves assumed Wilmington was good for baseball, now they know it and want more than ever to get in here. Naturally Mandalay/Braves want as much control as possible but the city now gets much more control over terms. The NSS report is public information and offers the city great power to recruit baseball to Wilmington. Investors now have real statistics to gauge, other teams and management companies now have the same. Who knows Cal Ripkins name might again pop up? Remember this deal doesn't have to set March 2014 as it's deadline it just needs to be done to create a better Wilmington. Something to think about while our boys are in panic mode with the Robo call system full of lies about stadium and funding as per WECT today.

50,000 is not true but below is..

There has NEVER been a better time for the right product and place for the new stadium, Braves-single-a, Full style entertainment choices to bring in revenue as well as strengthen our community.
Do not pass up this opportunity, Wilmington as it will be a very long time before we see this enhancement presented via strong entities.

Vision---for the best that Wilmington can be!

Sorry Duke

The $50,000 was in WRITING so it's VERY true.
But it was a proposed lease, not the final document.
Nice try though....

Duke

if this is such a good deal, then why don't you, Mike T & the other proponents all jump on the bandwagon and pledge your personal assets and resources for what you deem to be a sure fire money maker.

Even the NSS spokesperson confirmed this may not be the best deal for Wilmingon taxpayers.

You must own that overpriced piece of river front or hope to make a commission when if sells.

willing to bet

Their two plug nickles wouldn't get much.

2 nickles

And so "Guesty" WHAT does that mean,naysayer supreme.

Surfey

Is this all you have. Please tell us you have more. Maybe the ticket revenue story you worked so hard on just one more time. You have the report and I'm sure you read it.
I'm shocked a person of your obvious intellect hasn't trashed it, you have had over a week now?
If it goes Revenue Bonds, I'll be interested.
You are not winning, partner!

Mikey

I have enough business acumen to know that what had been proposed to date is a no brainer, big loser for the property tax payers of Wilmington.

You & Duke have expended countless bags of hot air to convince everyone this was such a sweet deal.

It was -- for Mandalay and the Braves.

Certainly not for the taxpayers of Wilmington.

So far, none of the businessowners you were so certain would reap bountiful amounts of new sales revenue have stepped forward to invest in the stadium construction.

So far, none of the proponents such as yourself or Duke, have stepped forward to invest in the stadium construction.

Is this the best you've got?

A liberal, entitlement seeker mentality which slams the opposition with pesonal aspursions rather than build your case with relevant fact?

Keep up the good work. Every time you or Duke speak, you make the liklihood of a ballpark being built less likely.

Great Job

It will work as Demographics do not lie

That is why,trust professional input.
This is minor league baseball,but a MAJOR LEAGUE report.
Relax,in November we all will see.

Relevant Fact

The most relevant fact that we are all aware of is that every post you have made related to baseball for Wilmington has been nothing more than presumption on your part. I on the other hand have made predictions and statements regarding the Due Diligence process and every one has been proven to support Baseball for the City Of Wilmington. Your reference to liberal entitlement is unfounded and you cannot produce any statement I made supporting stadium finance by either public or private methods.
I don't make a habit of operating from presumption as you do. Let me remind you that nothing regarding finance is on the table or has been presented. Only options have been discussed. The City in due time will present their best possible finance direction which I hope will include the County or some to be announced private investment group. I have no problem waiting once again while the professionals work toward a finance direction that I hope will be best for Wilmington and one that I can lend support to. In the mean time you just keep babbling and I'll keep interested open minded people informed of the process and how it works.

Sweeet

I bet this was a sweet deal until Monkey Junction won the battle to stay out of Wilmington.

I can see 3 years of "services" the city would offer (but really wouldn't give anything) going straight into the Braves pockets.

It doesn't look that good anymore, especially without tons of undeserved cash they thought they had.

Wilmington can't survive without expansion. Sort of like a ponzi scheme.

Good luck city residents, this time it's you that will pay the piper.

Mandalay

Then why don't they send Mandalay away before wasting another $355,000.oo? There are roughly 1500-1600 people that now attend baseball games on a regular basis in the Wilmington area. Does anyone really believe a new stadium and minor league A team will double that number for 70 games a year for 30 years? If these figures are not met, this team will leave. All of the examples except a few are for inland teams that are double A or triple A. No competition from the beaches and all the other distractions we have here. The only people involved that this makes sense for are Mandalay, the Braves and their owner. They have no risk in this venture. The Tax payers assume all the risk, with no guarantee of any reward. A major hurricane hitting this area gives a great possibility of wiping out this stadium at the riverfront location. New Orleans and Katrina should have taught everyone that it is not if this happens, but when it happens.

Rick

You knows thats actually something that I had downplayed, and you are right to bring it up. A 10 to 12 ft storm surge up the Cape Fear could cause extensive damage to a stadium on the waterfront!
And yet this is the location with the highest possible economic impact.
It's worth considering this disaster scenario

Best Regards
Vog

Hey Vog46...

I think you're on to something here. With global warming being such a prevalent concern...in the year 2235, the actual water level may already have flooded the stadium at low tide. :)

You've got more to worry about than storm surge!

Extremely unlikely to get more that a 5 foot storm surge that far up the river. And for the brilliant one comparing our area to New Orleans, give it a break. New Orleans is an average of 4 feet BELOW sea level. That was a way overdue disaster waiting to happen and is what occurs when you develop an entire city in the bottom of a huge fish bowl. Our geography is entirely different.

What we really have to worry about is the mass exodus of city dwellers due to the forced taxation of a multi-million dollar ballfield failure! Soon there will be for sale signs in every front yard.

Comparison

My comparison was not Wilmington to New Orleans. It was that New Orleans dodged the disaster for years, but it did happen. We will get a storm like Fran or Floyd here again also. If a storm comes up the river the surge will be much more than 5 feet. Why put an investment of this magnitude in harms way? I am against this project being built if any tax payer money is involved. If it is built, does it make sense to put it in a flood plain?

Guest

According to some flood maps Water st floods on any unusual astronomical moon tide never mind storm tides. There was a flood warning issued for this just recently. It wasn't bad but there were no storms involved either.
Again it boils down to risk. Building in a flood plain means? Higher insurance. Who pays? Yup - the city. After all the storms we've had I doubt we'd get too many more but still its $39M of stadium at risk. And gee we'd have to pay $50K per day to the Braves if they couldn't play there.

And yes that $50K per day fine was in writing in the proposed lease agreement presented to council after last Tuesdays meeting. Thank goodness its just a proposal but it indicates the arrogance of the Braves organization to think they could fine the financier of the stadium for it not being built on time. THAT type of fine could be assessed against the general contractor for any commercial project but against the bank that financed the building? Nah.....

BTW since the bruha started against the proposed stadium has it seemed like the Mandalay/Braves have made missteps? Like releasing the proposed leasing agreement? Announcing that private financing has dried up for now? I'm curious if anyone else besides me suspects that the Braves now have multiple ways to back away from this project?

Best Regards
Vog

Living in FEAR!

You have no faith,your "scare" tactics work with 2 and 102 year old people.
This is so sad,it is humorous.

It's a Trick

Mandalay and the Braves know full well this won't be agreed upon as is.
This is a classic bargaining tactic, where one party asks for something completely outrageous and eventually lets the other party "negotiate" with them, so they wind up with the deal they really wanted in the first place. This way, the Braves get the deal they hoped for and the City Council get to pat themselves on the backs for the savvy deal makin' they did. In other words, another example of the big city boys getting one over on the local-yokel rubes. It's embarrassing to watch, really.

Actually

that type of perfomance clause is standard in most projects of this nature.

IN theory, if the city contracts to have a ball park built, it should require the General Contractor to post various performance bonds to ensure the project is completed on time and to provide the funds necessary to cover this type of penalty as well as the costs to complete the project if the General Contractor can not.

The frightening thing here is the Council showing its complete lack of business knowledge and acumen with regards to the contracting process.

This is pretty standard stuff in the construction trade.

Surf

For certain projects yes this is pretty standard stuff

But this project and the lease agreement have some quirks. Let me pose a hypothetical question. You are building a restaurant and you want it done by March 20, 2014. Do you know of any contractor that would pay you to operate your restaurant at another location until yours was complete? The answer is no. Sure performance based contracts are fairly standard but this is far from a standard project.
Take the restaurant scenario above and add to it the fact that your restaurant is being built at no cost to you. Do you have the right to penalize the people providing the monies if its not done on time? You may go after the GC but you shouldn't be able to go after "the bank".
But what bothers me most about the lease agreement is the fact that there is no "minimum" amount Atlanta has to pay. In most lease agreements you sign for a minimum of 1 or several years. To break that lease you either pay a set amount (breakage fee) or pay the full term. I think the city should pursue this. Make the Braves sign for 5 years at $400,000 per year. If attendance is bad hold them to the $2M. If they want to leave? Fine with us pay whats left of the $2M and be on your way.
Theres absolutely no performance based criteria in this lease for the Braves or Mandalay. We are committing to a 30 year financing agreement where they have no commitment at all.
The NSS survey was almost un-nescessary. Just about everyone loves baseball so it should come as no surprise that NSS found Wilmington and baseball to be a good fit. But love of baseball does not turn into ticket sales, and it certainly doesn't turn into automatically accepting $30M in debt. NSS did their best to paint the project as being viable for all concerned but their assumptions on attendance were over stated compared to other teams ACTUAL "metro area" attendance figures.
But the NSS presentation carried a warning as they said its a good fit, we don't know if it's a good investment. Thats why I looked back at the Port City Roosters. We couldn't support them. No stadium monies provided by the city no risk for us and none for them - and they failed miserably.
Its no wonder that Atlanta has proposed this lease - they have no risk either

Best Regards
Vog

I hear what you are saying

and I agree in theory.

One aspect not yet noted is that Mandalay does not apparently yet own the team to be relocated to Wilmington.

What concerns me is the apparent lack of basic contract and business sense being displayed the the Council.

Too, I am amazed all of the supporters have not rushed to the rescue with their own LLC, and personal funding, to build this albatross.

And did you notice, the city gets one of the skyboxes for its own use. Is that to be named "The Saffo Box"?

Wilmington Idiot Council

Wilmington Idiot Council needs to tell Mandalay where they can shove their fine proposal.