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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Atlanta Braves, Mandalay Baseball Properties and the City of Wilmington have reached a tentative ballpark agreement. The city says the cost of the ballpark will not exceed $31 million and would be paid for by a 2.5-cent property tax increase.

A news release says the Braves have committed to put a minor league team in the Port City for at least 20 years and pay the highest rent in the Carolina League. Ownership expects the team will bring approximately 25 full time jobs and 350 seasonal jobs.

Click here to see the proposed Memorandum of Understanding

“We continue to believe a multi-use facility and an affiliate of the Atlanta Braves will be a tremendous boost to the City of Wilmington,” Atlanta Braves Executive Vice President of Business Operations Mike Plant said in a statement. “As people take time to review this proposal, they will see the value of the Atlanta Braves’ commitment to becoming part of the Wilmington community for decades to come.”

City Council is expected to vote on the plan at its meeting Tuesday. Voters will decide on a bond referendum for the stadium November 6.

This evening, the city released some of the details of the plan for the ballpark:
-A 6,200-seat ballpark to be located on at least seven acres of downtown riverfront 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
-20-year commitment by the Braves
-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
-Target date for completion would be April 2014 or April 2015, depending on final design
-Braves/Mandalay would be responsible for ballpark’s operating expenses and in exchange would receive all revenues
-Annual management/rent fee payments of $500,000 from the Braves/Mandalay for 20 years
-Another club, such as a university team, could use the ballpark as its home stadium if agreements can be reached
-Project contingent upon:
·Passage of voter referendum
·City acquiring the site and able to build the ballpark for $31 million
·Team purchasing the minor league club in Lynchburg, VA, moving it here and being approved by Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball and the Carolina League

The full agreement and City Council agenda materials will be posted on the city’s website by noon on Friday

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85 Comments on "Wilmington releases details of tentative ballpark plan"

2015 years 9 months ago

and let’s face it. Total costs, including land acquistion, are projected at $37 Million.

But if read correctly, Mandalanta is only proposing to repay the city $6 Million for land costs and acquisition. And that would be over time through rent payments.

Here are a couple of questions.

Will Atlanta itself actually be named on the contracts? Or will this be done through some LLC or new Corporation which would shield Atlanta should the team be moved prior to the 20 year operating term for the lease? If not, Atlanta could pull the team after 2 or 3 years with no fear of financial retribution?

What happens when the bond referendum does not pass? Do they try again? Is that why the proposed opening may be 2015?

Did I read correctly, Mandalanta is not going to be obligated for any of the $31 Million construction costs?

Finally, what were the details the city did not release?

2015 years 9 months ago

Yeah and I’ll keep on posting so long as misinformation is put out or numbers are misinterpreted so save your breath.

Keep trying though

2015 years 9 months ago

It appears that those in Wilmington have not spoken loudly enough that they do not want to pay for a baseball stadium. Or, maybe your “leaders” can’t hear so well.

Carol Kramer
2015 years 9 months ago

The Braves are trying to get us to issue municipal debt (for which Wilmington taxpayers will be responsible) to finance their stadium. This is a national scam, as outlined in this recent Bloomberg article:

In Stadium Building Spree, U.S. Taxpayers Lose $4 Billion

“You come back to this thin line of, ‘What is a legitimate municipal government undertaking?’” Packwood said. While he draws the line at sports venues, he said too many voters and local politicians don’t. “If the owner can get away with the public putting up part of the money, he’s going to do it.”

Since the city will acquire the property, that means NO property taxes, right? From every angle, this is a taxpayer RIPOFF.
“If you build it, they will come” is a line from a baseball fantasy film.

2015 years 9 months ago

As long as we have so called leaders like Saffo in the City and catlin in the County – we will get treats like the wasteful convention center and a ball park we so “desparately” need so these folks and their friends help themselves at our expense. Vote against the ball park bond and by all means lets send little ricky to raleigh-better there than his polluting wilmington.


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