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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The future of a ballpark in the Port City is still not a done deal, but an agreement has been drafted. There are some new numbers in the total price tag of bringing a minor league team to Wilmington and building a ballpark.

Highlights of the agreement at this time include:

-Participation between the city and Mandalay/Braves for the cost of construction and operation of a minor league baseball facility over the course of 20 years.

-A 5,500-seat ballpark to be located on 8.5 acres of what was formerly known as the Almont property that could also include a 1.5-acre city park.

-Ballpark construction costs would not exceed $31 million, funded by a 2.5-cent property tax increase.

-Anticipated cost of $6 million for land acquisition/remediation. This money would be paid back to the city from the Braves/Mandalay with annual rent and management fees.

-The target date for completion would be April 2014 or April 2015, depending on final design.

On Monday, after their regularly scheduled meeting at 8:30 a.m., Wilmington City Council will meet in a closed session meeting to discuss baseball negotiations to date. After that, an announcement will be made about the status of the negotiations, according to city spokeswoman Malissa Talbert.

“This gives the council members an opportunity to hear and weigh in altogether and they have not had that opportunity since these negotiations have been going on these last couple of weeks,” Talbert said. “What they’ll do on Monday is get together and talk about this and then they’ll determine what next steps they want to take, including what if any action they want to take on Tuesday night.”

WWAY reached out to City Councilman Kevin O’Grady, but he did not want to comment until after all council members sit down together and talk about the agreement Monday morning.

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20 Comments on "No final agreement yet on proposed ballpark"

2015 years 9 months ago

Before Duke gets all riled up.
If the Lynchburg Hillcats are bought by Atlanta like they’re supposed to be (lets assume a $5M price tag old Duke will say Atlanta is putting more skin in the game.
I suspect the city’s portion of construction will be 30% of $27M or about $9M. Add in the land and you come up with about $15M.
The BOND However will come out to be about $32M.
The city has already announced that it has to raise taxes 8 cents per hundred (this is in the budget).
5 cents to remain revenue neutral(due to Real estate value decline)
3 cents to repair roads (identified in a city survey as the #1 need)
2.5 cents for ballpark
10.5 cent tax increase
or about a 27% increase in taxes for city residents.

Just keep in mind this. In three years the Braves could sell the team. New owners could move the team with impunity. The Braves will have escape clauses, no doubt.
Read up on Gwinette county – a Braves city. They put the Gwinette Braves there 3 years ago in a new 10,000 seat stadium. Attendance is currently averaging 48% of capacity.
The county is getting 15% of anticipated parking revenues, and expected economic development is non-existent.

The Council needs to NOT go forward with this unless fully funded by Mandalanta

Best Regrds

2015 years 9 months ago

Throw all your junk away.
We are talking about 2.5 cents per 100.00 valuation.
On a 200,000 homee,50.00 per year or 4.16 per month.
And it might get better,I told you the deal will sweeten,and we are far from over.
Baseball is a none inning game and we are in inning#6 now.
Crunch time a coming.
But in April 2014,let us all see single-A Braves here.

2015 years 9 months ago

We have been waiting months for you to say something correct and you have not made it yet. Your 5 cent tax increase does not raise anybodies tax amount. It merely maintains a current budget level required to run the city and only goes into effect when property values decline. Thats why it’s called revenue neutral. The 3 cent is dedicated to infrastructure improvement and is short term for a specific purpose and will most likely be removed prior to any 2.5 cent increase for the stadium. By the way don’t you think most people would agree they can afford about $2.50 a month for such a wonderful city amenity? You are the most perfect example of why you people are losing on this issue. Best Regards

2015 years 9 months ago


2015 years 9 months ago

From the Federal Reserve in Minnesoata:

A “quotable quote”:
A Brookings Institution book on sports teams and stadiums noted the economic impact of a minor league baseball team is “equivalent to a large pet shop” in terms of revenue.

Duke’s Dog Emporium would have as much economic impact as this stadium.

Best Regards

2015 years 9 months ago

550,000,000 million to keep Vikings in town in a brand new Football Stadium.
That old “Brookings Instution” is just that,old…
Real old.
The deal has sweetened,and we are not over yet…

2015 years 9 months ago

It is critical for all to know the “facts at hand”.
So August 7th at 06;30 pm is City Council meeting,urge all to show and ask those “pertinent” questions,learn the facts of the “proposed” deal.

2015 years 9 months ago

you continue to amaze me with your blundering attempts to sow confustion.

Vog refers to a report which covers minor league baseball teams.

You refer to a report which covers a National Football League franchise.

What next?

For his next announcement, Duke & Mike T announce the Carolina Panthers will relocate to Wilmington if only the City will build a 6,000 seat stadium?

Duke, you continue to be the stadium proponents’ own worst enemy.

Every time you spout off, you further convince the skeptics there is a big time bomb hiding and waiting to go off against the tax payers.

2015 years 9 months ago

It may be old but you STILL haven’t refuted it.
And Terry’s lame attempt only addressed NFL and MLB teams from Prof Santos
Minor league teams have the economic impact of a pet store.
Of course YOU don’t care if Wilmington loses money every time I bring up a city that loss money (Like Gwinettte County GA) you say Atlanta and will Mandalay make money.
Not at the city taxpayers expense.
Not here, not now, not at our expense.
If it’s no cost I have no problem with it.
Port City Roosters were strike one
Waves were strike two
Lets not make $37M our strike three

2015 years 9 months ago

Great comparison
NFL legendary franchise versus a minor league team?
You HAVE lost your mind


2015 years 9 months ago

A tax increase for entertainment and you haven’t refuted the Federal Reserve study Duke.
Not even close
Just saying “it will work” does not make it so
Go ask Gwinette County about the Gwinette Braves
And you wonder why the Atlanta Constitution Journal is investigating the “survey” that caused the county commissioners to fund the ball park?
They’re collecting 15% of the parking revenue THAT survey said they’d get. County Ticket revenues is down too
No economic development near the stadium
Attendance less than 50% capacity
A losing proposition for them
A losing proposition for us

Try again Chuckles

2015 years 9 months ago

No cost or no deal.
The new paradigm is that if a company comes here we have to build their building for them
Maybe someone should tell that to the company looking to build the convention Center hotel. They’ll provide an economic impact
Lets build the hotel for them
Right? This is what you’re advocating?
Good luck with that


2015 years 9 months ago

you got that right … a NONE inning game so keep dreamin maybe the field of dreams IS REAL !!!!

2015 years 9 months ago

can KEEP your 2.5 cent increase..and I’ll stay in the UN-ANNEXED part of the county..THANK YOU LEGISLATURE! I DARE a NHC Commissioner to jump on this STUPID investment!

2015 years 9 months ago

There should be no final agreement unless there has been a vote by the people.

2015 years 9 months ago

Why is a city that cannot even provide decent roads, spending taxpayer money on something that it does not need and cannot afford? When Bill Saffo was campaigning for re-election he said that Wilmington cannot afford a taxpayer funded stadium. Is there anyone out there who can tell us what has happened between then and now to enable Wilmington to be able to afford a taxpayer funded stadium?

They were talking about the bond referendum being a way for the voters to let their voices be heard. Why are they talking about entering into final agreements when they have yet to let the voters’ voices be heard? I will tell you why. It’s because they will come back after the vote in November and tell the people that it doesn’t matter what they want because they have already signed the contracts. That is exactly what they told the taxpayers about the convention center except that the agreements for the convention center were entered into after the votes.

So Wilmington, don’t let these crooked politicians fool you. If they sign a contract before November, it will not matter what you say at the polls. They are pushing this through whether you like it or not. And while they are sitting back and enjoying their money-lined pockets, you will be footing the bill for a stadium you don’t need while bouncing along the terrible roads in Wilmington.

2015 years 9 months ago

Am I missing something here? the majority of the taxpayers do not want a baseball field, talk about arrogance, it’s getting rammed down their throats anyway, come to think of it, they didn’t want a convention center either! Chicago style politics at it’s best heh!

2015 years 9 months ago

we are not losing, we are waiting genius . we have figured out that, no matter what small minded people say on blogs, november will tell the tale ! there is no doubt that there are a large number of wilmingtonians who are NOT going to let this happen ! if it happens to pass november the lawsuits WILL ensue and tie this up until mandatlanta just pulls out . good luck mr t, duke and the other two supporters who don`t care about wilmington but just want baseball but, won`t go to any of the many other ball games available !!! ( chuck koebler and terry spencer ) LOL

2015 years 9 months ago

“This gives the council members an opportunity to hear and weigh in altogether and they have not had that opportunity since these negotiations have been going on these last couple of weeks”

Wow! Nice to know they’ve been working so hard to stay up to date.

2015 years 9 months ago

Any thing the government create anything that helps the private taxpayers.Has the convention center help pay for any upgrades to downtown or did the private taxpayers have to pay for the sewer and utility upgrade through increase cost from cfpua and taxpayers monies than should have been us for road repairs in other areas.When my property values when up 63% in the late 2000 what happen to revenue neutral at that time.So take a dime today does not mean much but if you that another dime tomorrow and the days after i will notice sometime down the road that is how the government works a little each time so you not see want it adds up too at the end.$37 to $42 million does not seem like much to people that are only going to benefit those that control the taxpayers money.Just look at what they say the cost to the taxpayers are going to be if some get the sky bridge past $58 million to taxpayers a year.Little here a little there so what.


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