make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Ballpark petition declared insufficient, council votes to move ahead with bond referendum

READ MORE: Ballpark petition declared insufficient, council votes to move ahead with bond referendum

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington voters, get ready for November. City Council voted unanimously to move the baseball bond referendum forward.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Wilmington City Clerk Penny Spicer-Sidbury declared the petition against a taxpayer-funded ballpark not sufficient because it lacked affidavits which are required by state law and city code according to the city attorney.

The city attorney also says that an affidavit would be required for everyone that brought the petition around to get it signed. Sidbury says she will not certify the petition.

As for the bond referendum discussion, City Councilman Kevin O’Grady says that the $42 million number that has been thrown around is going to be a lot less. He said he didn't believe anyone on council would approve such a high price tag.

"The dollar amount that everyone will get to vote on, if we get to that point, will be very different," O'Grady said. "It's not going to be $42 million. It's going to be a lot less that that. I doubt anybody up here would vote to put $42 million up."

Mayor Pro-tem Earl Sheridan says council will be looking at several options.

"I think that was one of the things that came out in the report that National Sports [did] that there were some stadiums in some other places that were less in price and I think council will be looking at the possibility of one that is less than that $42 million mark that was noted," Sheridan said.

A special Wilmington City Council meeting will be held July 24 to set a public hearing date before their August 7 deadline to give the bond final approval.

According to city spokeswoman Malissa Talbert, during their closed session meeting City Council instructed staff to negotiate for the possible purchase of a downtown property for a baseball stadium. The property has been identified as #10 Harnett Street, which is the old Almont Property on the riverfront that is owned by Riverfront Holdings II, LLC.

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.


But we are dealing with children

Adults might be needed if young adults,with petitions act like children

dear city council what are

dear city council
what are your plans after all of you are voted out in 2013

You won't vote out anything with only 20% turnout

Give me a break...
"hey, we can't wait to vote out city council in November. What will they do then?" They'll do the same thing they were doing, show up to meetings unlike your fellow residents who can't even show up to vote.
So instead of blowing a lot of hot air all over your monitor, start knocking on your neighbors doors and make sure they show up at the polls in November.

Just like the Titanic

Just plow ahead no matter how many "icebergs" city council has seen. Then look confused when it starts to sink.

They have property that was

They have property that was won in a court case to be exact 65 acres right off independence blvd why are they not using this talk about cost cutting they already own just saying ball field plenty of free parking easy in and out and would not have more traffic downtown that what we all want right

We the People, opening words

We the People, opening words from a document which is fading into obscurity.

we the people

Apparently only see what they want to see. If they had actually read the charter, they would have seen what was required. Instead they just completely botched and confused this initiative. Nice work.

Missing the Boat

Without advadavits,can those who gathered the actual signatures be considered valid? This is a MAJOR miscue but a law that has to be enforced,so what next?
Right now,not on November ballott.
Stay tuned,much nore to come as the continuing Saga and Drama continues.


This actually clarifies the situation. The petition was worded in such a way as to not be clear if it would affect the Sharks and the Hammerheads.
Now what the voters will be voting on is this stadium, this project, ONLY. It will turn into a straight up and down vote on whether the city will spend ANY money on this project.
So look at the non scientific poll on WWAYs homepage.
75% of the respondents voted for the city to spend NO MONEY on the stadium.

What will be interesting now is to see how much less the project will cost and what Saffo and gang will say. The voters are very suspicious of this group of elected officials, and are very much in favor of not spending money for non essential things - and a ball park is certainly not essential in spite of what supporters say.
I did note that no one talked private investors much. All the talk was on eliminating certain things from the building to make it cheaper. Atlanta will have to chip in quite a bit to make this even remotely palatable to voters if WWAYs poll is any indication.

Best Regards


@Vog---wrong again,the City attorney has ruled on "petition language" and it's impact.
Also I have copies of Hammerheads,Sharks,Tigers agreements as well as NHC Middle-High Schools.
The only entities that ride free are NHC SCHOOLS.
Pro teams will always pay,if petition becomes ordinance it might limit teams using Legion Complex or raise costs sizeably.
The Sharks pay $475.00 per game,Hammerheads $850.00 per game.
This way "under market".
And 800,000 of Field turf just laid in 2011 and as you can see these team fees are "miniscule".
As far as surveys WWAY/STAR NEWS/WECT are not good examples as data is un-scientific.
A great conversation piece,but has zero business application,example on WWAY poll I have voted 5 times,on same topic the last 2 days.
Bad Examples-keep trying


AS I said McCoy Fultons resolution will not be on the ballot. This leaves this project, the stadium, and its cost whatever it turns out to be. This will clarify this for the voters - all they will vote on is this expenditure and this property tax increase.
And it wasn't me that brought up how M/F would impact the
Sharks and Hammerheads - the city itself said we don't know how it would impact them. And yes Duke I'm well aware that they pay for use of the stadiums.
Oh and the highs schools? They DO get a free ride I'm glad you brought that up. This means that given the choice between free ride and paying to use the new stadium means they will chose???????? Yeah they'll use their ball fields. OOOOoopps there goes ANOTHER non tenant use down the drain. NO Sharks, No Hammerheads, No high school, no UNCW.
BTW Chuck since you don't pay taxes here what is your vested interest in this stadium? Your support has been unwavering to the point of being nauseating. Since you ARE NOT a taxpayer here you won't have to pay for it, whereas we will. Sorry to say this but as a non taxpayer here your arguments have lost all credibility.
But like many other supporters you still haven't come up with a response to:
The debacle of the PORT CITY ROOSTERS
and now
It was gonna be paid for in full in April with private investments. Now its gonna cost the city dearly - probably MOST of the costs. What happened?

The deal is slipping away Chuck. The best shot you had was when it was paid for. The more it costs the city, the less likely it is to be passed by voters - but keep in mind that all 3 major media outlets reported back in April that "Construction of the stadium wouldn't cost the city a dime". Why did ALL the private investors back away?

Best Regards

Good Point

The rah-rah baseball crowd - all three of them - won't be able to use this scare tactic any longer. They have effectively lost one of their biggest weapons.

I think the poll here is the best indicator of what people REALLY think about this. Chuck, Terry, Saffo and Council aren't going to like November.

Capacity is 6299

And plan is to fill it up,not "3'.