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Ballpark supporters: Where have they been?

READ MORE: Ballpark supporters: where have they been?

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- We've heard a lot lately from those against building a tax-funded ballpark in the Port City, but not much from those who support it. Thursday, we asked them why they have been MIA.

At Wilmington City Council meetings, there are always at least two or three people who speak out against the stadium, but not many have come forward to rally support.

Jim Hundley, the spokesperson for the Wilmington Ballpark Coalition, says he hopes to start more of a grass roots campaign to support their effort and City Council's push to move the project forward.

"We've not been speaking publicly about it. We've been working kind of behind the scenes with the business community and the people that support it," Hundley said. "It's going to take a lot of people to get this done, but we still remain optimistic and think it's a good deal for the city."

John Hinnant, the executive director of Wilmington Downtown Inc., says both those for and against the stadium will make a more prominent stance once more facts come out.

"What is this whole package going to look like? How much is it going to cost? What's the site going to be?" Hinnant said. "Now that some of the details are starting to get finalized, until we know all the details, it's hard to advocate for something you don't know about. I think they're taking a more strategic approach in the sense that it's better to have the details and better to have the information. It's better to have the city work through the process."

WWAY also spoke with Chris Fernandez, the founder of He says they are still here and still talking with people and businesses to get on board in supporting a stadium.

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.


Doubt that

I doubt that he owns any property, he just wants something for nothing.
Typical sponge, wants more and more.

If Mr. Hundley and his

If Mr. Hundley and his coalition want the stadium so bad, then they should pay for it, not the taxpayers of Wilmington.

Ball park -corporate welfare

I agree with Guest 2020 ,if this ball park deal is so great why does'nt the franchise owner put his money where his mouth is?,lately the knuckle draggers are the ones grunting and chest pounding their approval for this deal that can be described as corporate welfare.If I had $5.1 billion in assets why would I abandon 1 town for another town that cant keep its sewage together,or handle its traffic problems? It smells worse than the sewage leaking on Wilmingtons streets like a scam being pulled by the Mayor and Wilmington City Council,do they have financial investments tied into this deal? If You would not marry a spouse who cheated in a prior committment,why would you trust a ballpark franchise to stay committed in a deal with your money who bailed on a previous deal?

Here we go again

Blah Blah Blah. "Let them pay for it." "If It's such a good deal then let it be privately funded." What you folks don't get is that the profits coming from having this stadium are going to be complex. It's not all coming from just the stadium, it's coming from the increase in sales taxes from more money being spent, the rise in property values, and the possible rise in hotel tax (even from just the out of town teams that have to stay overnight). Do I think $42 million is too much? Absolutely. Is there a number I think would be right, you bet. The $42 million was the max that was said that it would cost. Let's see if the city council has the bargaining skills to make this work. Too many people have been narrow minded at the sticker shock. It's like buying a car or a house, you have to negotiate and see if you can get the deal that would best work for you.

All this money people think

All this money people think is going to be pouring in is just a pipe dream. You're counting on attendance numbers that are not going to happen. Wilmington has proven its disinterest in baseball before and this is just a gamble that Wilmington taxpayers cannot afford to make.

If you're counting on hotel sales to increase, you are deluding yourself. Anyone who would be interested in seeing a minor league baseball game are going to be fairly local. They will be withing driving distance and will be going home when the game is over. You might see some interest from tourists, but it will be as another thing to do while they are here. I just don't see anyone planning a vacation around watching a minor league team. The increase in hotel revenue from the opposing teams will not be enough to put a dent in things.

And as for those who might come as a day trip to see the game, you are counting on other people who won't come. You cannot count on the people from the southern parts of Brunswick and Columbus Counties to choose the Wilmington team over the Myrtle Beach team. The drive is probably a longer distance to see the Pelicans, but Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach have an excellent road system that makes the drive easier. And they don't have to deal with the gridlock like we get a lot of times between the river and Leland. And their roads won't mess up their alignment in their cars like the roads in Wilmington. Myrtle Beach's stadium is in an area that is surrounded by tourist attractions and the choices for dining near the stadium is a lot better than what is downtown in Wilmington. Not to mention that those who watch the Pelicans are a lot less likely to be mugged on the way to their cars after the game. And to be honest, there are a lot of people in these counties that just hate Wilmington and will not go there unless absolutely necessary.

I do have one question for you. When Bill Saffo was campaigning for his last re-election he himself said that Wilmington cannot afford a taxpayer funded stadium. Is there some stack of money that magically appeared between then and now that enables Wilmington to be able to afford it now?


Heard them all before,do not you guys have nothing new?
Alot of canned responses.
But nothing new.

tax liability

And how can writer say this without knowing,key component,"tax liability" per family.


It's 10% increase from $0.37 per hundred
For an entertainment venue that not every tax payer supports.
I know what you're trying to do..

Here's the "pro" side argument about the tax increase:
Its only "X" amount per month.....
Anyone can afford that and if you can't well move.....
Give up coffee and you can pay for the stadium......

Here's more pro side arguments for the park:
"We're smart and we know whats best for Wilmington"........
"We have vision for Wilmington - the opponents don't".......
"the Tax benefits are too complex for you to understand"............
"We see the large picture".........
And one of my favorites:
"It will work with the synergies of the north side"......
OH MY GOODNESS...........enough with sound bites!!! Most of you sound like paid shills for Mandalanta.
The Braves are moving a seemingly unpopular team here that has limited attendance, and asking us to build a stadium that's 50% bigger to boot! Unlike OTHER Potential tax sources they are asking ALL taxpayers to fund this through General Obligation (property tax) bonds. Why not an enterprise zone tax down town? Let property and business owners there pay more? They are the ones that will profit from this? Right?
Later on I'll tell you why I don't think this works as I did some research over the weekend.....

Best Regards

On a roll tell me more....

We have more positive statements that this will work,continue to scare them..we love to see you ANGRY,in that case we will make sure each team has red unifirms for you to wear.............OH BOY A LIVE WIRE you are.

We are here,going nowhere


About all the positive impact the Stadium and Single-A Baseball Team will bring to our area,county,city beginning April 2014,construction to begin January 2013.

I Found Them!

All five of them are busy commenting on a story from yesterday on StarNews.


Oh that was funny,true but still funny.

All over WWAY as well...

You just not reading closely,the "pro" side comments daily,