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Wilmington releases details of tentative ballpark plan

READ MORE: Wilmington releases details of tentative ballpark plan

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

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.


It appears that those in

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.

The "leaders" refuse to

The "leaders" refuse to hear. When I was in Wilmington, we voted against the convention center twice. Guess what? We got ourselves a convention center whether we liked it or not. What gets me is the refusal of the voters of Wilmington to dethrone these idiots and get someone in there who cares about the people of Wilmington.

A lot of contingencies

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?


ANLBC is named in the contract but for section 7 only.
Basically that section says that if Mandalay fails to pay the rent ANLBC will step in for two season or until another operator is chosen.

Mandalay will repay some constructions costs - in their case they call it "rent".
Specifically, they will pay $500,000 for some period of time (One detail that is missing BTW). If I read it correctly once the land is repaid (which is max'd at $6M) the normal rent is then paid (I think).

If the land costs more than $6M for purchase and site prep, Wilmington eats that extra $
If it costs LESS than $6M (Lets say $3M) Wilmington puts that into the construction fund, meaning the stadium could now cost $34M.

to address cost over runs.
If they are caused by the city the city pays
If they are caused by ANLBC they pay
If they are caused by the contractor the city guarantees $500,000 towards the cost over runs. Half of that Mandalay will pay back over 10 years.
Lets face it - the total cost for the city is NOT $31M. You have to count in interest on the bond and time.
The cost is $58M
Mandalay is not paying rent plus cost of living increase according to THIS document it appears to be a flat rate for 20 years. I max'd it out at $10M ($500,000 for 20 years)
But its less than than - once the land is paid rent reverts back to some unspecified amount.

Now as far as Atlanta is concerned. The deal is they will operate a Braves single A ball club here. If that club is SOLD it is no longer an Atlanta team and THIS agreement is null & void.

I am very worried about what could happen should we get hit by a hurricane. We are responsible for that type of damage. This is one reason why this stadium should not be in this location.


At least they had sense

At least they had sense enough to make the contract contingent upon the bond referendum. And to be honest, I am surprised they did that and I really don't expect them to honor it. They didn't honor the will of the people after at least two votes on the convention center.

For $31 million, there will be 25 full-time jobs. Definitely not worth the cost to taxpayers. I am glad my parents don't live in the city limits, but my widowed mother-in-law is going to take a hit with the tax increase. She can barely afford what she has.

I was thinking about that stadium on Wednesday when I was bouncing down those Wilmington roads that are in such need of repair. You get what you ask for and the people of Wilmington were stupid enough to keep voting these people in time after time after time. They built the convention center against the will of the people. They have tried to screw you over every way they can, unless you own a business downtown, then you get special considerations.


Big Surprise, Mandalay, the Braves, and their billionaire owner get the profits, and the tax payers get the bill! Everyone needs to vote against this one sided deal, a stadium can be had without any tax payer funding. Do not listen to the lies and distortions, it does not make any sense to fund this with tax payer money.

Dang you talk about bold and

Dang you talk about bold and thick headed, the overwhelming majority of taxpayers have screamed "NO" to a taxpayer ball park the same way they did to the convention center, it seems that Saffo and company know what's best for the city even though the taxpayers don't want it, how long are yaw going to take this? Till you can't afford your light bill?


If you feel like you're choking, its the city council pushing the ballpark down your throat. When will politicians finally realise we are broke, no money, stop spending other peoples money!!!

Anything costing the taxpayers a dime...

should be a vote of "NO" in November.

terrible deal for private property owners

Nice giveaway to private business! individual taxpayers really get nothing other than a minor league ballfield .It appears there is no direct income to the city other than sales tax revenues. Considering the county is already screwing the city on sales tax revenue sharing this deal is the worst one yet.

ball park

wow just what we need another tax increase!I can not believe this decision was made ,when we are in such a bad economy!Our family is struggling now on one income.There are weeks when we are really struggling and have no other help we can qualify for ,yet the tax payers should pay for a ball park!Well I see what is more important to our city!It is amzing our politics get their way!Very dissappointed in the city!!!!!!



bad deal

From what we know
$500,000 per year for lease and land payment
Over 20 years this is $10M
$15/sq/ft office space is miniscule
No concession surtaxes to the city
No ticket surtaxes to the city
No mention of parking fees

over 20 years $37M will cost over $58M
THey pay back $10M
Leaving the city on the hook for $48M minus office space payments

Bad for Wilmington
Bad for taxpayers


Never Satisfied

everyome wants baseball,why noy you?

I have not seen once when

I have not seen once when Vog said he didn't want baseball. I am a lifelong baseball fan. I fell in love with it as a little girl watching Pete Rose and the Big Red Machine. I enjoy riding down and watching the Pelicans play. If baseball comes to Wilmington with a privately funded stadium, then I will probably venture over and watch a game or two. What I will not do is risk throwing my car's alignment off and busting my tires by travelling on rotten Wilmington roads to get to a taxpayer funded stadium.


Let me make this simple for you.
I want baseball but I want NO taxpayer funds put into it
No property taxes
No sales taxes
No room taxes


Easy enough for you?
Don't think I'm a fan?
Who tracked Lynchburgs attendance all year? Did you ?
Did you follow the playoffs?

Sorry Chuck
Where's the results of the PPP polls Chuck?


wrong again

You are wrong once again. My family doesn't care about baseball and we don't want our taxes to pay for it. Fund it 100% privately or don't do it at all.


No everone wants baseball,Duke. Especially if the tax payers have to pay for it. Nov. will tell. If the vote is no, will the city go ahead and build it anyway? They went ahead wit the cc against the publics wishes.Haven't you been reaading the input of letters against the stadium?

we dont want it

NO ONE WANTS BASEBALL, what is wrong with YOU DUKE!
You probally dont even own property in this town.

Why Not

That is not what surveys say.


Chuck, Why don't you release the polls conducted by the chamber of commerce? Post your surveys. Talk is cheap, how about presenting some facts for a change?


surveys say that if PRIVATE INVESTORS want to build it and run it...then fine...a TAXPAYER funded situation they are ADAMANTLY against!


I'm not sure if everyome wants baseball but I can tell you not EVERYONE does.

It is a sizeable percentage

Much greater than those who do not want!