RALEIGH, NC (CIVITAS INSTITUTE) -– A new Civitas Flash Poll shows large majorities of registered voters in Wilmington continuing to oppose spending taxpayer money on a new baseball stadium.
In the recent poll, 80 percent of voters said they were opposed to taxpayer funding of a proposed $40 million baseball park in Wilmington. Opposition rose to 84 percent when they were asked what they thought about the plan if it would raise their taxes.
When voters were asked about a possible November vote on bonds to pay for the ballpark, seventy-seven percent were opposed to a $40 million bond; the same percentage also opposed a $30 million bond. Asked about an even smaller $20 million bond, 74 percent still rejected the plan.
If anything, voter support for a stadium is dwindling. In a February poll, Wilmington voters were asked if they backed the stadium plan if the city of Wilmington funded it. At that time only 70 percent were opposed.
The February and August polls also show a decline in the number of those who made a new ballpark a priority for the city. In that time, the percentage ranking the stadium as a high or medium priority dropped from 32 percent to 23 percent; those saying it should not a priority at all grew from 44 percent to 54 percent.
“The more the voters of Wilmington hear about the stadium proposal, the more they dislike the idea,” said Civitas President Francis X. De Luca. “Our polling in Wilmington and elsewhere across North Carolina shows voters want government to put the brakes on spending, even though elected officials seem to have trouble accepting that fact.”
For more information on Civitas polling, see http://www.nccivitas.org/category/poll/.
Full text of questions from August Flash Poll:
Should building a baseball stadium in Wilmington be …a high priority? A medium priority? A low priority? Or not a priority?
54% Not a Priority
There is a proposal to build a $40 million, 6,500 seat baseball stadium in Wilmington. Would you support? Or would you oppose? building this stadium if it were financed by the taxpayers of Wilmington?
6% Not Sure
Would you support? Or would you oppose? building this stadium if your taxes had to be increased in order to pay for it?
6% Not Sure
The city of Wilmington is considering a November vote on a bond issue of $40 million to finance the construction of a baseball stadium in downtown Wilmington. Would you vote for/against a $40 million bond?
8% Not Sure
OK, what if the bond issue amount were $30 million? Would you vote for/against a $30 million bond?
9% Not Sure
And what if the amount were $20 million? Would you vote for/against a $20 million bond?
7% Not Sure
About the Poll: 300 registered voters in the City of Wilmington were interviewed on Aug. 1 and 2. This poll was conducted by telephone in the voice of a professional announcer. Respondent households were selected at random, using Random Digit Dialed (RDD) sample provided by Survey Sampling, of Fairfield CT. All respondents heard the questions asked identically. Research methodology, questionnaire design and fieldwork for this survey were completed by SurveyUSA of Clifton, NJ. This statement conforms to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. The margin of error was +/- 5.7 percent.