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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — As the teams take the field it looks like a grudge match to the finish. Both are playing or campaigning for the attention of voters on the baseball funding issue.

Thursday the “Vote No Stadium Tax” group was up to bat.

“Even if I was in favor of putting tax money into it, it is just a bad deal,” Jim Rafferty, the group’s treasurer, said.

Wilmington City Council gave the “play ball” sign this week with an agreement with Mandalay Baseball Properties and the Atlanta Braves to build a stadium downtown. The agreement calls for taxpayers to cover the construction costs of $31 million through a 2.5-cent increase in property taxes. It’s something the no tax group strongly opposes.

“Enough is enough. Come back to reality,” urged former Wilmington Mayor Harper Peterson.

Then, there is the other side. The Wilmington Family Entertainment and Baseball Committee says it’s about economic development and a source of civic pride. Of course they have some big league back-up.

“It’s an opportunity for the Atlanta Braves and the City of Wilmington and Mandalay Baseball to come together at this time and build a ballpark,” Braves General Manager Frank Wren told a partisan crowed Wednesday.

The Braves have an obvious interest in helping supporters of the bond referendum.

So who will win? It’s too early to call, but you can be the judge it all comes down to the voting booth in November.

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43 Comments on "Two sides draw battle lines over stadium funding"

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Richard Anderson
2016 years 2 months ago

It is unfair that the taxpayers of Pleasure Island (Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, & Ft Fisher) are NOT ALLOWED to vote on Baseball in Wilmington.
THe debt will hurt us as much or more than those in (THE CITY OF WILMINGTON), we got burned on the so called Convention Center, as it was pushed through without any input.
Picture a nice new (EMPTY Stadium) with Porta-potties, as our water and sewer won’t work because they spent it on Saffo’s FIELD OF DREAMS
Please do a story on how Pleasure Island and Castle Hayne, have no VOICE in this serious problem, before we get… Read more »

2016 years 2 months ago

The tax money will come from property owners only in the City of Wilmington, not the 3 surrounding beach towns. You are off the hook.

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