FIRST ON 3: New Hanover Co. approached with stadium plan; Ripken confirms talks


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Submitted: Wed, 08/29/2012 - 3:59am
Updated: Wed, 08/29/2012 - 2:33pm
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A baseball stadium built without using taxpayer money. WWAY was first to uncover that’s an idea one group has brought to New Hanover County.

One city councilman calls it a rumor, while the county confirmed a group did approach it with this idea.

Cal Ripken’s name is once again linked to baseball in the Port City. A source involved in the discussion told us the Hall of Famer’s company Ripken Design is interested in building a stadium. It would be privately funded using public infrastructure, such as sewer.

County Manager Chris Coudriet confirmed all but the name.

“Baseball is a hot topic in our community. We did have an organization approach us as a county government and say, ‘Here’s an idea that could be considered,'” Coudriet said.

Right now, the city is in talks with Mandalay Baseball Properties to build a taxpayer-funded stadium for an Atlanta Braves minor league team. The cost of the stadium and land could reach $37 million if voters in Wilmington pass a bond referendum in November.

The city had considered Ripken Design to do a feasibility for a ballpark, but it chose another company when Mandalay objected to Ripken’s involvement.

If news of a private stadium is true, it would throw a major wrench in the city’s plans. But Councilman Kevin O’Grady does not seem too concerned about this latest twist.

“What’s the source of the funding? That’s unidentified,” O’Grady said. “What’s the location? What about the infrastructure needs? I mean, if it exists at all, it’s nothing more than an idea.”

But if someone is willing to build a stadium for free, why wouldn’t City Council pursue it? Mayor Bill Saffo says he would be delighted to talk with the Ripken group about its idea.

Residents opposed to using taxpayer dollars to build a stadium say it’s a no brainer.

“If there’s a glimmer of hope that someone would come in and do this for us, then they should pursue it,” said Scott Harry, the leader of a group of business owners opposed to the tax-payer stadium plan.

Late this afternoon a PR person for Ripken Baseball said in an e-mail: “Ripken Design has spoken with the county through a mutual acquaintance while we were doing a facility assessment at UNC Wilmington. These conversations with the county were only in regards to the process of building a county-owned stadium.”

After we asked for clarification, John Maroon wrote back, “We did not approach them with the idea of building a stadium. Ripken Design was informed that the county was exploring the idea of building a stadium If the City did not.

“After learning this, Ripken Design was put in touch with the County through a mutual party to discuss the process of planning designing and building a stadium and ways that Ripken Design could assist should the County move forward. Nothing has transpired since.”

65 Comments

  • The chosen one says:

    Wow, so many negative posters against this idea. How about you think about the young people instead of all of you old a** retired ppl. I bet if it was for another golf course everyone of you would be all for it. If ripken says he would build a stadium without tax payer money he would. We’re talking about a honest baseball player not a full of s*** politician like mitt romney.

  • Vog46 says:

    “Wilmington is a growing area and a strong market, Saffo said. If the city’s referendum fails, others will be interested in the area, he said. “No matter what happens there’s going to be a baseball group that’s going to look at Wilmington, North Carolina for a minor league baseball team and a stadium.”

    Exactly why we should reject Mandalay’s proposal.
    Even the Mayor thinks others will be interested.
    Get the BEST deal at the LOWEST cost

    Vog

  • Vog46 says:

    City says the bond is capped at $37M, but it will cost much less.
    Lets assume $32M

    Now lets combine all offers:
    Watch this:
    $32M
    -$6M for land donation by the Camerons

    $26M
    -$10M that Ripken says it can save if THEY built it.

    $16M
    -$16N pg 126 NSS report of private Mandalay funding $400,000 + Property taxes for 20 years EQUALS????
    $0 tax payer dollars

    The city (rightfully so) pays for water sewer improvements like they would for ANY private business to be located here.
    Take the Camerons land donation, and let Ripken build the stadium for $10M less, and let Mandalay proceed with lease & tax payments.
    Voila – “paid for” stadium

    Who said it couldn’t be done?
    Funny how those numbers are working out for us isn’t it?

    Vog

  • 1981duke says:

    So the County is going to build if City bond issue does not pass?
    By UNCW would be old Autumn Hall site,you talk about a logistics mess on Eastwood Road.
    UNCW can not handle UNCW traffic much less a ball-park out there.
    There are so many details we do not know,and still doubt this can be 100 percent privately financed.

  • guesty says:

    I second that. The city government isn’t in the business of entertainment.

  • 1981duke says:

    Between building a practice field venue and /or battting cage at UNCW and a Baseball Stadium for 5,500-6,500 fans.
    Look at what Ripken said…
    They might design a prototype but without financing.will not go far.

  • Guest2022 says:

    Actually that kind of is one of the jobs of the city. To build things that generate revenue for businesses and don’t tell me the azalea festival and parks aren’t entertainment. Yes the azalea festival pays for itself but so would a baseball stadium.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    This should be an entirely, 100% Wilmington project. The county needs to concentrate on the functions of government, and baseball doesn’t qualify.

  • taxpayer says:

    “What’s the source of the funding? That’s unidentified,” O’Grady said. “What’s the location? What about the infrastructure needs? I mean, if it exists at all, it’s nothing more than an idea.”

    I’ll do my best to make sure the funding for your idea ISN’T the taxpayers. And by the way…”your idea”?…going down in flames come November.

  • Guest35345 says:

    http://www.wwaytv3.com/2012/08/17/olsen-farms-says-city-of-wilmington-defaulted-building-park

    Gets both the City and County out of hot water. Right near the highway so the out of towners can get to it. Pretty far from the existing malls. And, when the scouts use it for camping like has been suggested as a possible use for the “new” stadium, there’s actually woods nearby!

  • Bill says:

    All taxes are ultimately acquired at the point of a gun. If city or county governments are interested in robbing us like a thief in the night to fund private corporations, it will affirm the section of the Declaration of Independance whch says”
    But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future and security”. VOTE AGAINST ALL TAX SUPPORTED BASEBALL>

  • Tarheelfan says:

    Hasn’t Ripken been trying to build a new stadium in Augusta for a couple years now? If they were so willing to privately finance why haven’t they got one built there. I see little chance they come up with any significant money. So does that mean they are looking to leave Augusta?

  • Mario says:

    I mean, I could say that “I” wanted to build a stadium, and give no details of how it would be paid for. Would that be the next headline in the news? There are absolutely no details of how it would be paid for. I am for a stadium at or near the river. A new stadium in that location would definitely be a draw. There are a lot of young people/baseball fans who that would excite. What would be great is if the city and county would bury the hatchet and work together. I think a great deal would come out of that for everyone. If they can’t do that, I am for the city of Wilmington making it happen. I’d hate to see an opportunity for quality entertainment go down the drain.

  • 1981duke says:

    Is the reason every yeam,owner and league wants to “be on river,Downtown”.
    That simple.

  • Wilmington Observer says:

    I do not want my (tax) money spent on baseball. If I choose to support baseball, I want to do it voluntarily, by purchasing an admission ticket.

    Wilmington Observer

  • Vog46 says:

    The thought of having a stadium overlooking the river is nice, and immediately Three Rives comes to mind.
    We are not Pittsburgh, however. Here in town people have migrated away from down town and out into the city and the burbs. This makes down town a place to work, or visit – even for “residents”.
    Now the stadium has to work to “attract” people to either come down town or stay down town after work. In larger cities like NY and Pittsburgh their population centers are nearby these idyllic river front locations.
    Our art community is small(but vibrant), and our museums are? For the most part not down town. Cinemas? Not down town either. Theater? Yep downtown. Other tourist attractions? At the beaches.
    So the stadium will stand out as a perceived “attraction”.
    Do locals shop down town? Hardly
    Do they eat down town? Hardly (given the number of restaurants that have closed recently)

    So while it’s nice to think of the picture perfect venue near the water – for practical purposes it makes no sense. We don’t have a blighted down town area and land space is limited so the stadium is now the after thought instead of the first piece of some magical puzzle to develop an area that doesn’t need “development”. We don’t have swaths of abandoned factories that need a new use. We don’t have large abandoned properties like rail yards etc.
    Think about it this way. If we don’t build the stadium what happens? Mr Shoninger will still develop that property, and the second parcel the city is looking at will still get developed. The city will have incurred no new debt and collected property taxes on both parcels of land.
    I don’t get the infatuation with down town. If I’m a business man looking for existing office space I would certainly consider it as there’s good space available. If I’m a big box retailer I wouldn’t touch down town – not enough people there “naturally” (ie living there). I would be looking at Mayfaire, College road, and the Eastwood corridor.
    Down town is what it is for the exact same reasons the stadium shouldn’t go there – people don’t live there.
    It’s the exact same reason why they want public help to build it. They know its risky (and costly). To minimize the risk they want the city to build it, and own it.
    Here’s a thought for you. Lets pass a city ordinance that says no city funding for any “pro” stadiums here in town.
    What do you think Mandalay will do? If the answer is they will pull out then we shouldn’t be building it either.
    We are a desirable location – we just need to be slightly “bigger” to make it profitable, even if they have to pay for the cost of building the stadium themselves. I think it could be done privately financed but I’m going to say the city should not be involved for various reasons. If this means we wait a couple of more years for a stadium?No big deal to me. If it means losing out on the down town location? Again no big deal to me (and probably a better deal for the business if located elsewhere).
    There is certainly no rush.
    Vog

  • Vog46 says:

    If memory serves the land battle in Augusta has been ongoing for 4 years, and until thats settled Ripken has no idea of total cost. Once he knows that he can pursue private investment.
    There’s a state school involved and all that stuff.
    But Ripken is now open to other locations in that city…
    The taxpayers of course are against it.
    Larger taxpayer funding for stadiums have been rejected recently in Long Island, Sarasota and St Louis (I think). Even the new California stadium will be privately financed. (It is against California Law to use property taxes to build stadiums. They can use room taxes, or specific sales taxes but not the general property taxes).

    I think the age of the public rolling over for team owners has come to an end……..

    Vog

  • Vog46 says:

    Of the 5 properties NSS evaluated only one that was down town. The vast majority were not on the river at all.
    Every team, every owner, and the league wants down town?

    Please cite your sources.
    You have fallen for the all or nothing aspect of this deal.
    You have put forth an attitude that this deal, for this location, is the ONLY viable deal out there. Yet NSS looked at 5 other properties none of which were on the river. They “claim” that this would have the biggest economic impact. I disagree and have cited studies as to why.

    I don’t disagree with having baseball here in general. I fully expect MiLB to be here some time in the next 4 to 5 years.
    But there will be no taxpayer dollars involved.

    80% of the locations NSS looked at were not on the river.
    What is it with this 80% number ? 80% oppose taxpayer funding – 80% of the sites were not on the river.
    What is your hang up with 80%?

    Vog

  • Mario says:

    You have a valid point. As you stated that in our area, a lot of attractions are away from the downtown area. That is true. But it’s also true that a vibrant downtown is important to a city’s growth. Something happened in America years ago when businesses moved out from the city centers for cheaper property. More recently, you see cities making a deliberate effort to revitalize and invigorate their downtown areas. I’ve spent many evenings downtown…for dinner, drinks, plays. Now if it wasn’t downtown, I wouldn’t be heartbroken…but personally think it would be great downtown.
    I respect your opinion, although mine is different.

  • 1981duke says:

    If true how come no statement by Orioles,Ripken,County??

  • Guest 10101 says:

    the “developement of downtown” and by that you’re referring exclusively to “downtown” businesses, not even its residential population. Wilmington’s a much bigger place than just “downtown”. Most of the populace of Wilmington live somewhere other than “downtown”. Yet you, and your “downtown” insiders, make it blatently obvious that all you care about is “downtown”.

    If that’s all you care about, why should anyone outside of “downtown” care about you or want to pick up the tab for something that will only benefit a select few like yourself?

  • Vog46 says:

    I assume you think its OK for the CoC to initiate not one but two polls asking questions that take into account your religious outlook on a place to gather as not being deceitful?
    C’mon man that is not only deceitful its wrong.
    I got called BOTH times and both times they got the same answers.
    “NO” to taxpayer funded stadiums
    Period……….
    If THEY want to build it at their expense? I may come.
    But given today’s economy and the under performing convention center? I’d rather let them explore any freebies they can get.

    Get the BEST deal for Wilmington. Get the LOWEST cost deal for Wilmington. Let them fight over us – we are in the drivers at here. (Thanks to the County Commissioners)
    What a failure by Saffo and crew……

    Vog

  • Katherine says:

    I sincerely hope the city’s pursuit of a deal with Mandalay hasn’t killed the Ripken interest. Even someone like myself, who isn’t a big baseball fan, is aware of the good reputation the Ripkens have, unlike these shady folks from Vegas.

    If we can vote down the Mandalay deal, hopefully it will leave the door open for the Ripkens to build their own stadium, which would then be something we could all happily support.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    why would you expect a statement from the Orioles?

    Why did you have no concern when Mandalanta was not forthcoming with statements and information early on?

    You can not have it both ways.

  • Vog46 says:

    Ripken had a deal coming together before Mandalay was given exclusive rights.
    That deal then shut out all others until such times as the mandalay deal is voted down.
    THATs the real problem here – any last minute deal is not to be discussed until Mandalay is voted down.
    If this is a new deal (or even it its old) there’s no problem saying “NO” in November – as our Mayor said we are getting interest.

    No one should rule out a better deal.

    But I must admit down town is not my first choice for a location and if Ripkens got different locations than Mandalay has talked about I’m all ears.
    If this does include a mall, down town is the LAST place it should be. Not enough people there…..
    We shall see………
    Vog

  • 1981duke says:

    So you have a problem with a ‘pro’ stadium and baseball team approach giving something back to the community via Cancer campaign.
    Really,there is nothing deceitfull as those who believe deeply in this venture,using shirt proceeds towards donations.

  • 1981duke says:

    Forged agreement,their was a press conference and statement by both parties.
    With no word from County,Ripken or Orioles this looks suspicious?
    Alot of conjecture,few facts.

  • 1981duke says:

    @Katherine,
    Mandalay is from Los Angeles,not Las Vegas.
    Learn their business,
    http://www.mandalay.com

  • ChefnSurf says:

    Never could see downtown as a first choice. Just too many problems. IF a mall was included: Not a snowball’s chance on the planet Mercury that it would be downtown. Personally, I think the whole concept of Wilmington’s downtown may have run its usefull course and, as in other cities of this size, is possibly passe.

    Interesting to see what develops with the Ripken thing. At the very least, it’s sure pointing out the flaws in the current arrangement.

    As far as November is concerned, a big thumbs down is the only logical choice for the taxpayers at this juncture.

    Chef

  • SurfCityTom says:

    Gee Duke — there appear to be more facts at this stage then there have been at any stage of the Mandalanta debacle.

    And of course, there has been no agreement consumated yet by Mandalanta; if I read today’s Star News, they are still hammering out fine points which deal primarily with future cost payments and how can the city be required to cover them.

    I continue to note, every time you and MrT make a post of any type, you harm the position of the Mandalanta participants.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Vog46 says:

    Sometimes voters defy logic, but not this time.
    There are many groups besides baseball lovers and haters involved.

    I can see down town as a location if Wilmington had 200,000 residents and the other side of the river was developing with residential neighborhoods as well. Sadly we are at 100,000 (rounded off Duke) and the area across the river is heavily industrialized.

    What is apparent is that we are “on the cusp”.
    MLB and MiLB see us as viable, but ONLY if public dollars offset start up costs – hence the Mandalay problem.
    Taxpayers see it as private business – and government should stay out.

    I say this. If the economy revs back up, growth in NH and Brunswick counties will fire back up, making this more and more attractive as population growth increases.
    We have absolutely no need to rush into any deal and we had no right to make Mandalay somehow the ONLY plan out there. The excuse that Ripken was s competitor is weak and smacks of corruption. I didn’t say it was corrupt – but it was certainly the wrong way to approach this.

    Vog

  • ChefnSurf says:

    First of all, if you’ve got proof the offer was bogus, show it. If you don’t, then one has to wonder who’s trying to confuse who.

    Now as to integrity: No ethics, no integrity? Surely you must be referring to the Cancer Awareness shirts that had no mention of cancer awareness. Do you really want to say that wasn’t one of Wilmington’s all-time low moments in the stadium debate? To even attempt to justify that would make you appear to be morally ambiguous at best.

    As to the corruption issue: Only one side of the stadium issue has anything to potentially gain personally by being corrupt. Reason would dictate that those against the stadium would have nothing more than their current status quo maintained as a result of a stadium not being built with taxpayer dollars. That’s not really a gain, is it? Soo …. if anyone’s potentially corrupt … it must be someone else. There’s only two sides to this debate, so the answer is more than obvious.

    To quote yourself: “Stop with all the deceit.”

  • 1981duke says:

    The market has always been here,everyone in MLB and MINOR leagues know it.
    The key who is going to pay for it?
    The Roosters,Waves,Braves have all wanted some type of public input and funding.
    I find it hard to believe that RIPKEN will do all this privately.

  • 1981duke says:

    @Vog,
    It is remiss to talk about “another” offer until we see details of “that offer”.
    Hard to comment on something I have not seen the fine print.
    How do you not know that City using this story to leverage Mandalay and Braves.
    Until we see both.compare both it is re-miss to comment.

  • Guest7969 says:

    REALLY…you haven’t been to a Waves game lately…

  • Vog46 says:

    Notice your first sentence?
    “We just want baseball,via city,county,city and county combined.”

    You ONLY added “private” as an afterthought and immediately dismissed it saying you “had a hard time believing Ripken will build this…..”

    That’s the exact problem here Duke.
    If Private funds (outside of Mandalay/Atlanta) amount to $1M or all of it that takes the pressure off of us.
    Mandalay went from:
    “no cost to taxpayers”
    to
    “Some cost to taxpayers’
    to
    “No private investors at all”

    The Mayor went from
    “Oh that’s great”
    to
    “Those numbers are way too high and Madalanta’s got to put more skin in the game”
    To:
    “that’s a number I can’t support”
    to:
    “We capped it at $37M”

    If this proposed deal forces them to seek out other private investors? Everyone wins.
    As it should be.
    Saffo et al, were way too easy on Mandalanta

    Vog

  • Vog46 says:

    They said baseball COULD do well here thats in the NSS report. No one is guaranteeing anything.
    The difference is that Ripken is more positive on the area than Mandalay is and he believes he can get the private financing, whereas Mandalay had the private financing and it went away.

    Thats why we should bring his proposals back up to the forefront, but we can’t until such time as we vote down the referendum.
    If Ripken comes in with a privately financed stadium I suspect Mandalay would do the same.
    The ONLY way to find this out is to let it play out…

    Vog

  • 1981duke says:

    It is all a part of negotiations,we have not seen any other proposal yet.
    It would be hard to believe any team will fund this 100% privately.
    Partially yes..
    100 percent privately hard to fathom?

  • Vog46 says:

    The ONLY way to see and compare the deals is to reject the referendum then talk to Ripken – CORRECT?
    Then and only then can we get to see anything

    THATS what is so upsetting – the exclusivity of the Mandalay deal.
    We can’t comparison shop until we reject this deal.
    Besides being taxpayer funded thats another reason to reject the deal.

    At THAT point the Mandalay deal can get put back on the table with private funding, whole, or in part.
    If Ripken CAN do it with private funding, whole or in part, so can Mandalay.
    We can also entertain any other plan that may or may not be out there if the parties want to go forward…….

    Vog

  • SurfCityTom says:

    we still have not seen all of the details concerning the Mandalanta proposal and the agreement they want the city to sign.

    That’s changed so significantly since first proposed, it bears little resemblance to the initial proposal.

    What’s good for the goose should apply to the Gander.

  • Guest461 says:

    …but if not, you’re definitely full of #2! If there was ANY sort of Baseball market here, it would’ve been prevalent years ago with the first two failed ventures. If there was ANY sort of market for baseball here, the failed river-landgrubbers wouldn’t be pushing for taxpayer funding so hard to get rid of their contaminated riverside dirt.
    Baseball is business, not politics, not government. If the business can’t support itself on it’s revenues without taxpayer support, it appears as government…loathsome, dependant, unprofitable and always in the RED. The people don’t want it, the people don’t want it and most importantly…the people just don’t want it. I don’t even think the people will want it if it were to be privately funded. Just too many other fun things to do here besides go to a boring Single A slap-ball game.

  • 1981duke says:

    Manadlay,NSS,Ripken,are three premier operators who think baseball will do very well here,you keep holding on to Roosters and Waves woes,why?
    Do you own part of Sharks,Hammerheads.
    Our market is ripe and attractive,3 people say so,3 professionals so we shoud believe you over”those in the business”.
    WHY?

  • 1981duke says:

    Manadlay,NSS,Ripken,are three premier operators who think baseball will do very well here,you keep holding on to Roosters and Waves woes,why?
    Do you own part of Sharks,Hammerheads.
    Our market is ripe and attractive,3 people say so,3 professionals so we shoud believe you over”those in the business”.
    WHY?

  • 1981duke says:

    We just want baseball,via city,county,city and county combined.
    but i have a hard time believing Ripken will build this all with private funds.

  • Common Sense says:

    Finally some common sense.

  • 1981duke says:

    As long as we get best deal,team,ownership group for city and area we will be happy.Of course all want the lowest tax liability possible.
    We shall see alot to be discussed.
    Maybe?

  • Guestarticulatore says:

    There is only one acceptable tax liability for this venture and that is ZERO.

  • Bob Donovan says:

    This is such an obvious red herring it is absurd. Once again the anti-Wilmington anti-stadium folks sink to yet another new low: intentionally leaking bogus offers to build a stadium to confuse the voters.

    We get it, you have no ethics, no integrity. There is nothing you will not do in your attacks on development of downtown. We get it. You don’t have to keep showing us over and over again how corrupt you are. Just let people vote in November without planting bogus information to confuse the issue. Stop with all the deceit.

    And to the editors of WWAY, shame on you. Show some journalistic integrity and cover this story instead of trying to determine the outcome as dictated to you by your AFP overlords.

  • 1981duke says:

    If true,and no public investment…let Ripken build it.

  • MrT says:

    Wizards, Surfey-Vog& Chefey couldn’t get on fast enough with their essays of no knowledge vastness. Amazing it only takes a mystery spokesman and an unidentified organization to fire this crowd up.
    Now you might remember that I predicted long ago and several times that the County might come back into play, that private investors might come forward and that the Ripken name might re-surface again. Their may be some back door talk on going and this could be a good thing. But rest assured if a stadium is built by either public or private source, it will be built Downtown!!
    How about a little credit where credit is due, Boys?

  • Vog46 says:

    Who said the Ripken stadium would be down town?
    I question the viability of a mall down town given the paltry number of people that LIVE there.
    Don’t worry – if this is built down town with private funds I’ll give you all the credit in the world.

    I guess the stadium is no longer “in the can” is it?
    BTW where’s the survey results? I got called twice.

    Vog

  • ChefnSurf says:

    So reading between the lines, which is sometimes just easier when dealing with non-linear sequential thought processes, what you didn’t say but really meant was that you would agree that the referendum should be voted down, right? Anything other than that just wouldn’t be in the best interests of the taxpayers at this time, right?

    Congrats on your prediction oh great marketing wizard. Credit has been duly allocated into your account. Of course, when you make that many predictions, it’s kind of like hitting the target at the pistol range with a scatter gun. Ya just figure something’s gotta hit, right?

    One more thing just for clarity’s sake. I can’t recall either SurfCity, Vog or myself ever doing an essay on the topic of “no knowledge vastness.” Must have been someone else.

    Regards,
    Chef

  • Vog46 says:

    Why anyone could think that the Mandalay deal was the BEST deal we could get was beyond me.
    So what happens now?
    The city has already decided to move forward with the referendum, and that deal can ONLY be decided by the voters at this point.
    So is the official verdict to vote NO on Mandalay to allow Council time to investigate THIS deal? Or any others that come along?

    IF Ripken gets private funding then Mandalanta is dead in the water (for now)

    But if Wilmington is indeed a desirable place to put a team I would venture a guess to say that Mandalanta will (Miraculously) find private funding and then Ripken Mandalay can do what I thought they should be doing all along……..fighting to see who can give us the best deal.

    O’Grady and Saffo look like fools for being so impatient……

    Vog

  • 1981duke says:

    The Frederick Keys are the ORIOLES high single-A team and a fixture in that area. The Aberdeen IronBirds and NYP league loa-A,and Delmarva Shorebirds,low-A in the South Atlantic League.
    The Delmarva Shorebirds,low-a look like the likely candidate?

  • 1981duke says:

    Why would County be negotiating this,when City negotiating with Mandalay.
    Why would Ripken Baseball be negotiating on this when Mandalay negotiating with City?
    There is room for 1 owner,1 team…..not 2.
    Sounds like politics,at work????

  • SurfCityTom says:

    the city fiasco can not come to fruition unless the voters approve the bond referendum and the city can come to terms with Mandalanta.

    Could be the folks @ Ripkin have been following the media reports and see an opportunity?

    Pray tell, where is it written a neighboring County can not negotiate with Ripkin to determine if the deal is doable with a reasonable chance for profit?

    Perhaps, the owner of that over priced piece of river front real estate will continue to be the owner despite your best efforts.

    But as I have said virtually from day 1, you & MikeT are your own worst enemies with your bmbastic posts whih change with the ebb and flow of the tide.

  • ChefnSurf says:

    Can almost hear you hyperventilating.

    Sounds like politics at work? Since when was that a problem for you?

  • SurfCityTom says:

    would that not be ironic.

    For certain, the Ripkin organization will not commit unless it is a profitable situation. And they will be in for the long haul.

  • Tom says:

    When you are spending taxpayers money, IE not your own, it tends to fall into the politicians friends pockets… But a private entity will be able to build the stadium cheaper and with less interference than with public dollars.

    Now that the parameters have been set, Ripkin’s group knows what to build and if it will be profitable. And we know Ripkin is all about showing up…

  • MrT says:

    just keeps on Turning?

  • Vog46 says:

    Any deal taking the burden off the taxpayers should be explored.
    MiLB rules say two teams cannot talk to the same city at the same time, however, this is the county talking to Ripken not the city talking to Mandalay.

    Saffo rushed into the exclusive deal with Mandalay and that has put the city in a tough spot if there’s another, better deal out there.

    So is it politics? Or good old common sense?

    Vog

  • 1981duke says:

    We just want a Stadium and Baseball here and I do not think RIPKEN will do this privately for single-A and no other affiliation AA-AAA is an option.

  • Vog46 says:

    Ripken baseball has teams for the Orioles the Giants and the Rays
    Who said it had to be a Baltimore affiliate?

    Vog

  • SurfCityTom says:

    who currently owns the Lynchburg based team which they were going to move to Wilmington? Certainly not the ones who want the city taxpayers to cover the expense of building that river front albatross.

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