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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.

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43 Comments on "Ballpark petition declared insufficient, council votes to move ahead with bond referendum"

2015 years 10 months ago

Try reading it again Duke.
Back in April there was NO liability to the city for building the stadium. This was to be totally funded by private investment.
Now the city is apparently on the hook for MOST of the money.
What happened Duke?
What happened to the $40M of private investment funds that would have paid for the stadium. C’mon Duke what do you think?
It was only 3 months ago that they had enough investors to pay for the stadium.
Eh Duke?
I would’ve gladly supported a stadium under those circumstances Duke.
But when the PRIVATE sector pulls out of something and asks the government to step in and do it for THEM then I have to wonder if something is rotten in Denmark.
Something spooked the private investors
Spooked Raeford Trask
Spooked the Camerons into publicly stating no city funds to be used.
We need to be suspicious and go into this with eyes wide open.
But I go back to April – it was paid for then but far from it now.
The cost to the city has to go BACK to ZERO -back to where it was ORIGINALLY.
This deal stinks more and more and more……..

Best Regards

2015 years 10 months ago

I was under the impression that the only taxes the city could affect were property taxes.
Any other tax changes would require county or state approval
Am I wrong about this?

Best Regards

Rick Wilson
2015 years 10 months ago

Amen! But the County Commissioners could still vote to include the county tax payers in on this project. Come election time better make sure where the people you vote for stand.

2015 years 10 months ago


It really depends on how they did the poll… WWAY’s online polling does not prevent multiple votes. With a public proxy or proxy software someone could crank up 100’s of votes. I actually witnessed this on the poll about “How do you think the petition against a taxpayer-funded ballpark will affect the future of the Sharks and Hammerheads?” I watched votes matched vote for vote; “I think it will vs. I think it won’t”, with over 100 votes being placed during 1 hour late on a Friday evening (yes, I don’t have a life).

Just saying – WWAY polls may not be a valid indication of what the general population of Wilmington really wants.

What would be really good (and I think Councilwomen Padgett said this) if the City (or 3rd party) would conduct a proper poll. Key would be providing the pros (yes there are some – like $42M could really kick start the construction industry here in Wilmington which IMHO we really need – see note above on having a life) and cons to the stadium so the people really understand both sides to the question.

2015 years 10 months ago

Vog–seats do not= capacity.
Mandalay was proposing 6299 capacity,1400 are lawn seats,not chairbacks.
At 3500 chairbacks,might be very close to 6299 capacity,depends on lawn and “suite” seats.
But—seats do not= capacity.


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