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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Election Day is inching closer, and so is the deciding vote in whether the City of Wilmington will build a ballpark.

You’ve probably seen the yard signs, bumper stickers, social media messages and even commercials, but how are the campaigns continuing to get the word out?

We reached out to “Vote Yes” campaign spokesman Terry Spencer to see how they will continue to reach out to voters, but he was too busy to do an interview.

“Vote No Stadium Tax” spokesman Scott Harry says his group is handing out yard signs and reaching out to voters through a grass roots effort. Harry says he believes the “Vote Yes” group will ramp up its efforts before election day, but he says it may be too late.

“It’s not over until it’s over, but when I was in line to vote saturday, everybody in line around me was against it. When one of my employees was in line to vote opening day of early voting, everybody in line around him was against it,” Harry said.

The “Vote Yes” group’s campaign slogan is “Get the Facts.” Harry believes to really do that, voters need to read the proposal between the city and Mandalay Baseball and the Atlanta Braves. That proposal details where the $37 million in bond money would go and other aspects of ballpark plan.

Comment on this Story

  • Vog46

    And don’t forget the creme de la creme -the Durham stadium.
    The holy grail for the pro side.
    This was a small part of a $1.1B investment in what was a run down “down town” area. The city invested $400M (To include the ballpark) and private investors kicked in $700M.
    And yet John Hinnant agreed AGREED mind you that the stadium loses money.
    If the down town was that vibrant and the ballpark that popular you would think it would be profitable !!
    Socializing costs to privatize profits is Hinnants claim to fame. And why not? He’s paid by the city donation to WDI.


  • Katherine

    Greensboro stadium – Privately funded

    Zebulon stadium – Funded by a Wake Co 1% tax on “prepared food”, meaning it’s something you can choose not to buy

    Charlotte stadium – Mostly private funded

    Winston Salem – Developer borrowed the money from the city to build it and is paying back 100%, with interest

    These are just some of the stadiums in our own state where the taxpayers aren’t forced to foot the entire bill. There are hundreds more around the country. Why is it that Wilmington is the one city where, according to the Braves people, private funding “just isn’t done any more”? Sounds like they’re just trying to fool us poor local yokels into believing something that just isn’t true.

  • Korys Dad

    I certainly hope that in the debate, that significant light is shed on the fact that landlords have NO CHOICE but to raise the rents on their tenants. This will hopefully sway “the renters” in the proper direction of a NO VOTE on the stadium tax.

  • A. Landowner

    If the stadium was such a good thing for the entire community, then a sales tax increase should have been proposed instead of a property tax increase which raises the BS flag.

    It is clear the when the path to use property tax is taken, it increases the chances of passing because Renters feel that voting yes is a win win for them. What they don’t see is the end affect of where their landlords raise the rents to make up the increase in taxes.

    Hopefully a majority will see the fallacy of the Yes folks position as recently highlighted by some good people that have done a lot of research which has revealed that the Wilmington deal is ROTTEN when compared with sweet deals reached by other cities. A NO vote will force the city back to the table with the baseball negotiators and you can be assured that a better deal will be reached that favors all.

  • Vog46

    Agree but for different reasons:
    “If the stadium was such a good thing for the entire community, then a sales tax increase should have been proposed instead of a property tax increase which raises the BS flag.”

    The city could issue special obligation bonds which would designate sales taxes be used but I doubt they would do that.
    They could also work with the County to get an Article 39 tax passed. This sales tax would be piggy backed on state sale taxes but would revert back to the county assessing this tax. The current county commissioners are not too keen on the stadium and the 6 candidates running for the 3 spots have all come out AGAINST a taxpayer funded stadium.
    You also have to keep in mind what the school committee has said about new schools. They are already talking a school building bond of hundreds of millions of dollars to alleviate over crowding. This would definitely put the stadium on the back burner, as it should as schools are infrastructure.

    As for the deal? It is poorly negotiated with the city bearing the brunt of the costs. Mandalay pays 18% the city 82% over the 20 year term. It is by far one of the worst stadium deals recently done if you go by what NSS has to say about it in chap 10.
    By the way, for anyone who cares – the NSS report is tragically flawed in this regard. They deliberately ignore financing costs when showing comparable ballparks. Think about it his way
    Without interest?
    Mandalay is paying $10M of a $37M stadium build.
    Not bad eh? Now think about it with interest:
    Mandalay is paying $10M of a $54M stadium build

    See the difference? Now you know why the pro side frames their arguments the way they do.

    Fund it privately is the only fair way to go


  • Guest757

    the only thing the landowners can do is to pass the increase onto their renters.. and that will include raising rents on apartment or condo renters too….

  • Vog46

    Stadium build? Capped at $37M the Pro side Struts around like a peacock claiming how “sweet” this deal has become.
    Now we learn the bond referendum over 20 years will cost taxpayers
    $67M to $75M because our illustrious “leaders” decided to “pad” the stadium bond with extra funds they could use as O’Grady said “for other purposes” – but that’s a story for another blog.
    Mayor Saffo claims the ballpark, with interest, will cost $54M.

    This is kinda like that financial services ad that plays on TV. A women, obviously American Indian, claims that “so and so” financial services can put $10,000 in your checking account tomorrow. She ends the ad by saying “it’s not for everyone”.
    Read the fine print while the ads playing and you see that interest rate is effectively 89.98%
    Yeah – no wonder it’s not “for everyone”
    What we are doing here is allowing the city to conduct loan sharking for Billionaires. “Just pay da tax bill you lousy whiny taxpayers, or Rocco comes over to yer houze with da baseball bat – get it”?
    Taking on $54M so that Mandalay can pay back $10M (and make money while doing it)

    You don’t say “No”
    To a man named Rocco


  • Mr.T

    That the No Tax Stadium commercial that claims 75 million dollars is being given to a billion dollar baseball team is wrong and deceiving?
    Your claim is that the Stadium cost is 54 million with interest and that the citizens of Wilmington will own the facility and Mandalay will pay back 10 million over 20 years.
    I can only assume you agree that the price of the stadium and land is 37 million and the 24 million is the interest. The 20 million dollar difference would be a excellent question from members of both sides and what would you bet that it will be addressed Thursday night.
    I posted last week on this blog and that post got quite a bit of attention. I appreciate your support for the correctness of that post. I also got a little finger happy with some undesirable name calling which I regret in my effort to support a position which was not required since the deception of the ad, speaks for itself.

  • NHHS Wildcat

    So what ever happened with the debate. I never saw a follow up story. Some of us working folks couldn’t make it there or in front of a TV. What were the hi lights , specifically Saffo and OGrady’s comments.

  • taxpayer

    The debate is this Thursday night at 7pm.

  • Rick Wilson

    The claim that Terry Spencer is too busy to do an interview is laughable. I wonder why he passed up a golden opportunity to present his case……

    The fact that there is another option out there that gives this area a stadium without tax payer funding should end the discussion for the current deal. Any economic benefit the area receives from a stadium happens immediately if there is not millions of dollars in loans that have to be paid off first. The fact that the owner of the Braves is a “billionaire beggar” is not lost on the tax payers either. He can easily afford to pay for his own stadium and become an asset to the area instead of a leach…….

  • Vog46

    One of the arguments the pro side uses for the stadium is that it’s a multi-use facility. In scouring NSS (that “professionally done” study) Chapter 6 pg 75 I noted that they looked at 10 comparable ballparks to generate a number that would indicate an average non MiLB use for this multi-use facility.


    But then I noticed the aberration, the Fort Wayne (Ind) Tincaps who came in with 383 non-tenant uses for their stadium. Good for them, no great for them – but this one figure is almost 4 times the nearest team’s number. So in order to get a better picture I eliminated them.
    This caused a more realistic number to appear for average non-tenant use – 40.5. I will be kind to the PRO side and round up to 41. Then I reviewed the surveys NSS conducted to see how the ILM estimate was established and I found that NSS used “Interest” as a means to justify estimates.
    This is total unmitigated bunk.
    So, lets look even closer at what NSS says ILM will host: Pg 80
    68 braves home games
    4 college games (I will give them this in the hope that it comes true (but Marc Lashley will disagree I’m sure)
    10 high school games ? Nope – cost prohibitive according to the coaches interviewed. This would double busing costs as now both teams would then have to travel to this stadium
    2 other sports. Sorry this also goes to 0. Hammerheads are out, as are the Sharks
    1 concert. OK this is a wish but I will leave it in.
    45 Miscellaneous. Oh this is a big error. Taking out Fort Wayne, the average for miscellaneous events drops to 21 events.
    NSS came up with 130 events that includes 68 Braves home games. The number should have been closer to 89
    My figures are 91 total events or 91 – 68 = 23 non tenant uses !!!
    I totally missed this when I read, and re-read, the NSS survey. The Fort Wayne Tincap numbers totally skewed the average results. By talking them out, I got a more realistic view of what we could expect. Sure Azalea festival will add a couple to this list but I do not see HS graduations outdoors in May/June.
    One final note. Remember the substitution effect for spending? All of these non tenant uses are events that would happen whether the stadium was here, or not. Heck they already exist !!! So the economic impact of these non-tenant events is ZERO on the city. The ONLY event that is new, at this stadium, would be the Braves games themselves.
    Sorry but the numbers contained within NSS are becoming less and less reliable.
    Because of this the “economic benefit” is disappearing ! If we have to rely on the ballgames ONLY – we LOSE !!!! Lynchburg is poorly attended, and we, historically,have not supported the Roosters, or the Waves.
    Remember, as Chuck (Duke) spews his bile about all the “multi” uses for this facility? Well THAT other use is about 21 events.
    God help us if this passes


  • SurfCityTom

    which side gets the non baseball revenue?

    The city, to help service the debt and maintenance expenses?

    Or Mandalanta?

  • SurfCityTom

    he’s hoping someone in a high banking position will marvel at his marketing acumen in getting the city to pony up the funds to buy a brownfield site which appears to be on the verge of foreclosure.

    The site is toxic in more ways than one.

    He must believe he can get another job in banking if he can just pull the wool over someone’s eyes.

  • Mr.T

    Maybe you could provide your wisdom as to why so many cities across America own or have some ownership in so many sports stadiums. These facilities are rented to for profit enterprises. Maybe there is something in your business knowledge vastness that could prove how stupid these investment are. Many of us would love for you to share some of that info!

  • Vog46

    And the deception you espouse also speaks for itself. Taxpayers WILL pay back the bond, in full which will be in excess of $75M. This is what it will cost US.
    “Cost to taxpayers” is not the same as $37M, far from it, and the fact that you want to use the smaller number exposes your fraudulent argument because that is what yo want it to be, an argument about numbers.
    If the stadium tax were for only the stadium the tax rate could have been lowered to 2 cents – yet no one on the “pro” side picked up on this and railed against city hall for “killing” the bond through greed. I guess since the bond (If passed) gives you what you want – makes this money grab OK. Correct?
    OK try this
    $54M JUST for the stadium. If RE doubles in the 20 year length of the bond and the city revaluates every 5 years as has been their history (more or less), how much will that $54M bond cost in total? Get the picture?
    The problems associated with this bond are two fold
    First the bond over reaches on revenues. This is not PCB’s fault but your continued silence on this is a tacit approval of this money grab.
    Second – the bond payback is tied to RE valuations. In the last 50 years how many times has real estate fallen in value in this area? You could say 2008, 2009, 2010, and possibly 2011. But other than that you would be hard pressed to come up with another annual drop in valuation.

    That being said I would hope that don’t mistake my saying the stadium cost is $37M is somehow making you think I support your post – far from it. Construction costs and selling price are always different. Purchase price and payment price are also different.
    The COST to taxpayers, which is the thrust of the ad, is $75M at a minimum. To cast this as anything different is in fact, a lie. Just like your website saying we’d get “X” amount of economic benefit without using the terms “estimated” is implying some sort of guaranteed return. You cannot in good conscience make that claim.
    But considering your past posts and your silence on the excess revenues, I would gather you have no conscience.


  • Vog46

    The cost to taxpayers is $75M and will rise over time with real estate values rising.
    No one (on either side) asked for extra funds – that was the cities “doing” and was recognized by the anti stadium people – including me.
    “the stadium” will cost $54M of which Mandalay will pay 18% or $10M making it one of the worst deals in MiLB history – regardless of what Mandalay pays back.

    To say the stadium will cost $37M is disingenuous, even for you. It is like saying your $200,000 home only cost $200,000 when in fact is $325,000 over the 30 year mortgage.

    I am appalled by Mandalay paying a fixed amount over 20 years and keeping the naming rights to building WE are paying for.

    I will repeat – this is the WORST deal I’ve seen in MiLB.

    And Terry – be careful with this line of thought. If RE should rise in value rapidly the stadium bond will cost taxpayers FAR more than $75M, and far more than a lunch per month as your side claims..


  • Rick Wilson

    Terry said, “Since the deception of the ad speaks for itself.”

    I find this statement unbelievable coming from you. Your whole PCB website is pure fiction and you dispute something that is proven? From your early claims of “10’s of thousands of new visitors” to Chuck’s claims of “10 million dollars in new sales tax revenue each year.” The lies the pro side have used are just plain crazy. What is in this deal for you? There has to be something or you would have quit supporting this as soon as the deal was released. Unless you are stupid, there is no way you would sign this one sided deal that the city did. With the Ripken Group waiting to build this stadium without tax payer funding, why does PCB support using tax dollars instead? I will ask you once again, What is in this deal for you?

    PCB aka Port City Baseball should be supporting the best deal possible to bring minor league baseball to New Hanover County. What has blinded you to your original goal? All your lies and deception have hurt your cause. You resorted to name calling because that is all you have left. Whatever you have planned for the 11th hour media blitz will back fire like everything else you have tried. You underestimate and insult peoples intelligence with the campaign you have run.

    The 2 main things(and there are many more)that cripple you are these:
    1- The Braves owner is a billionaire beggar, he should pay for his own stadium and become an asset to the community instead of a leach….
    2- Any economic benefit shows up immediately if you do not have to pay off a 54 million dollar, 20 year mortgage first. A privately owned stadium does not cost the tax payers maintenance and upkeep either. The owners also pay property taxes. Why do you refuse to acknowledge this?

    With all the other rising costs the citizens of Wilmington are facing, becoming a welfare center for a billionaire is one they can say no to…….

  • Vog46

    I believe the taxes are paid in full.

    Whats in it for him?
    All I can see is a self inflated ego.
    A higher value of self esteem?
    I don’t know.

    I don’t care either

  • SurfCityTom

    what taxes?

    I said toxic. Foreclosed, or soon to be foreclosed real estate is considered a toxic bank asset.

    They initiated foreclosure, I believe in 2010; then the property owners attempted to avoid the bullet by going to bankruptcy; and that got shot down as we have previously reported.

    If this sale does not go through, watch for foreclosure.

    And perhaps Terry is a former banker who would like to return to banking.

    I’ve raised that issue previously.

    As to taxes being paid, I am not so sure about that. The bankruptcy proceeding called for 5 years worth of payments to New Hanover County. If that’s not for past due property taxes, I’m not certain what it would be for.

    And, at this late date, either New Hanover County or the lender should be getting the paperwork ready for filing.

  • Vog46

    A blast from your past: June – yeah June I will interject the results of your predictions:

    Could !
    Submitted by MrT (not verified) on Wed, 06/27/2012 – 4:55pm.
    You may have missed the word could( it’s used several times in the watch dog blog) in your haste to write another essay. You like many others need only to hold your horses just a few more days and let the deal come forward.
    If I had a crystal ball it might say.
    1. They will take some of the special features out of the stadium proposal similar to what Greensboro and Winston Salem did and lower to over-all cost.

    Thats #1 – the ILM stdium ranks #2 on hte list of the last 10 stadium builds as MOST expensive

    2. Mandalay/Braves will up the ante by increasing the lease years or payment schedule

    Thats #2 – there is no ramping up

    3. The city will get the advertising and naming rights for the stadium.

    Thats #3 and #4 as the city get neither according to the MOU (you’re bating 1.000 right now)

    4. The city will get $1 per ticket tax.

    Thats #5 – no ticket surcharge

    5. The finances will come from either .5% food and beverage or about 1.5 cent on $100 dollar evaluation General Revenue Bonds.

    Thats #6 and #7 – no beverage tax and a lot more than 1.5 cents

    I also predict that if the issue makes it to a vote, the citizens of Wilmington will support It and the stadium will be built in the downtown area.
    Now Vog, whats your little crystal ball say?
    I’m sorry but your crystal ball seemed to have cracked Terry. In just 1 post you made 7 FAILED predictions with the 8th just around the corner.

    Your credibility seems to be slipping


  • Mr.T

    or do you just interpret words any way you wish? I made no question about the 75 million. That may be accurate and as I said it would be a fair question for the debate on Thursday. I said again and again that your ad states that 75 million dollars is being given to a billion dollar Baseball Team. This is not only incorrect, it’s deceiving! Atlanta nor Mandalay are to be given a dime. They like any tennant will pay rent for the right to occupy. The Stadium will be the property of Wilmington and it’s citizens. You and your crowd may not like the terms but those are the terms and your ads should reflect that. You can write essays until you turn blue but those are the terms. I would also inform you that this council and future have the right to base tax rates and adjust rates to compensate for re-evaluation vs.operation cost. The revenue bond holder has one priority, The debt gets paid!
    Yours and other references to Terry are also as wrong as you are mostly wrong in general.
    I don’t even know who Terry is!!
    If he’s for Baseball in Wilmington, my guess is he’s a fine person.

  • Vog46

    I don’t believe that the county could do anything except for non payment of taxes which as I stated are paid i full from what I’ve heard.
    Sure the bank can foreclose for lack of loan payment – but I have no idea as to the status of that.
    Sorry for the confusion – to me, taxes are toxic which then leads to very poorly worded posts………

  • ChefnSurf

    So …. Let me see if I have this right …

    – This is the first time you’ve EVER come close to apologizing for some “undesirable” name calling.
    – The reason you’re apologizing is because, in this particular case, it wasn’t necessary … because … you were right and the point you were disputing (the add) was actually wrong.

    So … To balance out the human equation …

    – In all of those many, many other times where you NEVER came close to apologizing for some “undesirable” name calling …
    – The reason you didn’t apologize is because, in those particular cases, it was necessary … because … you were wrong and the points you were disputing were actually right.

    So … Here’s what you can lean from this …

    – The problem with choosing to embrace a marketing strategy based essentially on ego and untruthfulness is that … sooner or later … when you think you’ve finally found an opportunity to prove you’re right … you’ll have become so surrounded by your own faux pas that no one will be able to see past them enough to even bother to take you seriously.

  • Rick Wilson

    The fact that there is another option out there that gives this area a stadium without tax payer funding should end the discussion for the current deal. Any economic benefit the area receives from a stadium happens immediately if there is not millions of dollars in loans that have to be paid off first.

    Would care to comment on the above statement? If you will look in a mirror with your Halloween mask removed……..you will find Terry Spencer……..If you still dispute this, prove me wrong and sign your name………If I was in favor of a public con like this stadium, I would be too ashamed to sign my name also. Does the deal look better from your cyber space foxhole?

  • Vog46

    Why would we adjust the tax rate for operation cost when in fact Mandalay is responsible for that
    From the MOU:
    “Except as otherwise set forth herein, the Operator shall pay all operating expenses for, and shall bear all losses resulting from, the management and operation of the Ballpark”

    yes I’m well aware that tax rates can be adjusted
    So tell me, when was the last time tax rates were adjusted to reflect the city having too much of our money outside of real estate valuation adjustments?

    YOU may not like the fact that we are looking at the impact on all taxpayers which includes principle AND interest but lets face it – that’s what we HAVE to pay for the stadium.
    Yes we would own the building and the property and allow an independent party to operate a for profit business on those grounds.

    yes I disagree with that premise Terry and I disagree with the lies that are posted on YOUR website that imply guaranteed success and economic impact from that stadium. All sorts of studies indicate that MINOR LEAGUE BALL FIELDS have little to no impact on a city with very few exceptions.
    You may not like the facts but they are what they are.
    Honesty is a two way street Terry – take down your lies from your website and I’ll talk to Scott about changing the wording of his ad to say we have to pay back over $75M when in fact the net worth of the Braves and Mandalay combined is approaching $1.0 BILLION dollars.
    Oh wait – that happens to be the truth


  • Mr.T

    Would it be too much to ask for definite proof that another option exist? We read the news that one commissioner has said he met with a person, who claimed Cal Ripken had investors, but that story went down faster than the Titanic. We haven’t heard another word on that deal since that slow curve thrown. Don’t you think the City would have even if through back channels explored a better deal? What a shame, to go through life and trust no one but yourself!!

  • SurfCityTom

    when the referendum nose dives. When Mandalanta realizes it must write the check.

    When that exclusive position between the city and Mandalanta withers away.

    Watch Ripken Group and the County come together.

    By the way, what ever happened to that expensive ad campaign you indicated would be on the airwaves?

    Have we really heard any concrete facts on the city/mandalanta pillaging plan?

  • Mr.T

    Check your records, I think you may have me confused with someone else?
    I don’t recall ever offering a marketing strategy. A marketing strategy involves putting fans and customers in the seats and all the attraction and concessions associated. What has bent you and most others out of shape is that I understand Economic Development projects and how they evolve between various parties. During the process, I called every move and was on the right side of every issue.
    The fact that stadiums attract other development projects in many other cities can’t be questioned. Some areas get more and some less,that’s why the river site is important to Wilmington as these sites offer greater potential for re-development projects and greater chances of enhanced property value to the city. You might reference a recent Star News editorial which indicated the value of a stadium to many example cities one being Greensboro. Former Mayor and accomplished business executive Jim Melvin stated the Greensboro stadium was an excellent investment. The Greensboro stadium has already paid itself out.
    You will also find if you care to look that I have never taken a position on any form of finance options private or public. This along with revenue projections is the responsibility of the city and its consultants. As best I can remember those projections provided ample revenue to cost out the project?
    The only thing you and your gang has been right about as it relates to me is that I support the Stadium and believe it will be good for Wilmington.

  • Vog46

    Here’s the deception from your own post:

    “They like any tennant will pay rent for the right to occupy.”
    Now finish the thought
    And operate a ‘for profit’ business

    The city did not build Verizon. They did not build PPD nor GE nor Corning. The city collects NO RENT for the privilege to occupy those facilities.
    So why should this be any different?
    THEY help the city prosper by paying property taxes and employing not tens of people, but thousands of people.
    As for city parks and other recreational things the city pays for them so that ALL citizens can use those facilities – for free or for nominal fees without regard to profitability or not.

    In this case the city has far exceeded it’s function in regards to business operations. They didn’t offer incentives they’re offering to build a for profit business facility which will have cost the taxpayers a guaranteed loss of $44M after the bond is paid, while Mandalay and Atlanta profit from it
    If that’s NOT “giving” Mandalanta something, I don’t know what is.
    We are absorbing $44M of costs for them so they can maintain profits.

    Its a pity your website does not reflect what we are indeed “giving” them.


  • SurfCityTom

    the foreclosure file made no reference as to the nature of the 5 year payments to the County. If not back property taxes, then what would they be?

    If I am familiar with banking law, and I think I am, the mortgage holder, unless a private lender and not a bank or savings and loan, will be required to foreclose. They really will not have much option.

    And of course, that will wipe out the interest of the 3 individuals holding the second mortgage. Unless they step in and pay off the first.

    So, in the not too forseebale future, it is possible the parcel of overpriced and toxic real estate will be on the market for sale as an REO.

  • Guest 10101

    (Wait, let’s change that to the most humorous quote of the entire stadium debate!)

    “I don’t even know who Terry is!!
    If he’s for Baseball in Wilmington, my guess is he’s a fine person.”

  • Vog46

    We could only hope to be like Greensboro:


    Ballpark signed, sealed and delivered
    The Greensboro Grasshoppers have offiicially completed their purchase of New Bridge Bank Park for nearly $13 million.

    That means they own it and directly will profit from the revenues the downtown stadium raises.

    This ballpark has been a rock-solid proposition for the city since it was built — exclusively with private funds.

    That means taxpayers didn’t pay a dime for its construction and won’t ever have to worry about its maintenance or upkeep.

    It’s hard to believe now, but a lot of people fought hard to stop the new ballpark

    You seem to forget Terry the argument is how its paid for.
    I would LOVE for us to be JUST LIKE Greensboro

    It’s hard for me to remember why now. And probably for them, too.

  • Mr.T

    The city sets the real property tax rate based on the current value of every property and adjusts tax rates annually based on the projected cost to operate the city. In your efforts to over state and examine every detail of stadium ownership both for this project and projects in every other city you seem to have developed some one tract thinking. I regret confusing you but most cities operate on covering projected cost which if passed the stadium will become part of.

  • Vog46

    “The fact that stadiums attract other development projects in many other cities can’t be questioned.”

    Why not?
    Because you said so?

    The academic studies indicate looking back at actual stadium builds indicate that 90% of them have little to no impact.

    Look no further than Gwinette County Georgia. that AAA level ball field and club promised the world and gave the county nothing
    In fact the county has had to raise taxes in other areas to help fund the stadium build because the promised development did not take place.

    So, at east you agree that the Ripken deal along the river with a privately paid for stadium would be good for Wilmington and offers the best chance of enhanced development for the city. This shows your not a totally lost cause


  • Mr.T

    Why don’t you guys meet at the bus stop and take the next bus to Terry’s
    and ask him all the questions you write volumes about in his name. I am not your Terry and I believe you do him a dis-service by misusing his name. I would think even the few people reading your spew would call this a form of NAME CALLING. Come on boys, lets grow up a little.

  • SurfCityTom

    and acts like a Terry, it must be a Terry.

  • Vog46

    I don’t need to Mr T
    Do you know why?
    Because anyone with any sort of math knowledge will know that Ripken offers a far better deal for this city.
    Here let me simplify it for you.
    Mandalay involved? The taxpayers pay $54M
    Ripken involved? The taxpayers pay NOTHING.

    Even YOU can understand that


  • Rick Wilson

    The city has never considered any deal that did not use the polluted ground near the Convention Center. The Mayor has stars in his eyes and Mandalay has played him like a drum. You know Ripken can not come forward with their deal until the agreement the city signed with Mandalay expires due to MLB rules. So, you use this to claim it doesn’t exist.
    If you are not Terry Spencer and you have followed this proposal from the start, then there is no possible way you do not know who Terry Spencer is. I thought Mandalay had gagged all of you because they were/are tired of all of your lies getting exposed.
    This deal is so bad that the only logical explanation of anyone supporting it is if they have something to gain or they are too stupid to justify the air they breathe……………..

    And BTW, Jason Thompson went on TV and explained the Ripken deal and the other party did acknowledge the talks had taken place. That is not rumor, that is fact.

    You seem to be quick to demand proof of others, why don’t you try to find one thing your side has claimed that can be proven with facts instead of conjecture……Once again I ask you to sign your name and prove who you are……Mandalay is scraping the bottom of the barrel looking for shills if you are not Terry Spencer…….

  • ChefnSurf

    — Confused you with someone else: You’ve said so many outlandish things that by now, you may be the one who no longer knows who you are. Everyone else does. I wouldn’t worry about it. After the election, it won’t matter who you are.
    — Marketing strategy: The act of advocating a political point of view for the purpose of achieving a particular voting result is a marketing strategy, just like putting fans in a stadium is.
    — What has bent you and most others out of shape is that I understand Economic Development projects and how they evolve: Do you ever listen to yourself? Most others don’t understand, just you. Perhaps your attitude may be a contributing factor to this whole “bent” thing. That and your deliberate inaccuracies.
    — Was on the right side of every issue: In order for that to be correct, more, instead of less people, would have to agree with you. That, and also the business of your talking points being correct. That hasn’t been the case (just like in this post).
    — Never taken a position on any form of finance options private or public: Advocating a YES vote is to advocate for taxpayer (as in public) financing of a stadium.
    — Revenue projections are the responsibility of the city and its consultants: An interesting way of saying that you, personally, have no revenue projections with which to justify your position.
    — Those projections provided ample revenue to cost out the project: Are you kidding me? Even Mandalay admits that the city’s highly touted “consultants” presented the city with a seriously flawed feasibility study. After that it really started to go down hill.

    Strike seven! You’re out 2 1/3 times!

  • Vog46

    “You will also find if you care to look that I have never taken a position on any form of finance options private or public”

    Really? REALLY?
    Here’s one for yah Terry:

    • Could !
    • Submitted by MrT (not verified) on Wed, 06/27/2012 – 4:55pm.
    • You may have missed the word could( it’s used several times in the watch dog blog) in your haste to write another essay. You like many others need only to hold your horses just a few more days and let the deal come forward.
    If I had a crystal ball it might say.
    • 1. They will take some of the special features out of the stadium proposal similar to what Greensboro and Winston Salem did and lower to over-all cost.

    WRONG – this is one of the most expensive projects Hunt Construction will have undertaken – it ranks #2 on the list of ballparks referenced in he building projections NSS survey on a per seat basis.

    2. Mandalay/Braves will up the ante by increasing the lease years or payment schedule.

    Wrong the MOU does NEITHER

    3. The city will get the advertising and naming rights for the stadium.

    Wrong TWICE – according to the MOU the city gets NONE OF THAT!!

    4. The city will get $1 per ticket tax.

    Wrong – the city gets no revenues from ticket sales

    5. The finances will come from either .5% food and beverage or about 1.5 cent on $100 dollar evaluation General Revenue Bonds.

    Wrong twice – no beverage taxes and much more than 1.5 cents

    I also predict that if the issue makes it to a vote, the citizens of Wilmington will support It and the stadium will be built in the downtown area.
    Now Vog, whats your little crystal ball say?

    There you go “MR Right predictions”
    One post with 7 missed predictions and one more prediction still up in the air.
    Still want to say you’ve been right all along ?

    Your credibility just jumped in the dirty water of the Cape Fear River.


  • Vog46

    Back in june you were predicting Ripken would be involved

    CatBird Seat
    Submitted by MrT (not verified) on Thu, 06/21/2012 – 1:25pm.
    For those of you that live in the shadows and only see the dark side, you may not recognize it but the City of Wilmington just jumped into the Cat Bird seat related to dealing with Mandalay. You may not know it but Mandalay knows it! The NSS report is gold to the city. Mandalay and the Braves assumed Wilmington was good for baseball, now they know it and want more than ever to get in here. Naturally Mandalay/Braves want as much control as possible but the city now gets much more control over terms. The NSS report is public information and offers the city great power to recruit baseball to Wilmington. Investors now have real statistics to gauge, other teams and management companies now have the same. Who knows Cal Ripkins name might again pop up? Remember this deal doesn’t have to set March 2014 as it’s deadline it just needs to be done to create a better Wilmington. Something to think about while our boys are in panic mode with the Robo call system full of lies about stadium and funding as per WECT today.

    Going back on this prediction too?


  • ChefnSurf

    On Sat, 7/21/2012 T-Ball said about his crystal ball: “my crystal Ball is a diversion for simple minded people”.

    A reversed page right out of the Dale Carnegie’s book “How to win friends and influence people”.

  • Rick Wilson

    Mr. T or whatever you choose to call yourself this second, all your side has ever done is use disparaging remarks against those that disagree with you and spout outright lies to try and sell your position. I went back over the blogs on this issue and you (and all the others that use Mr. T) have been posting from the beginning. For you to say say you do not know who Terry Spencer is comical. I will ask you again why you act like the world will end if when this deal is rejected? This is a terrible deal for the city, just read the MOU. This is a huge debt for the city to undertake to become a welfare center for a billionaire.

    Why don’t you list the benefits this project will do for the city? And instead of hot air and predictions, list things that can actually be deposited in a bank as profits. Please show how these profits pay off the stadium loan, pay for maintenance,upkeep, and repairs, and are profits the city will receive for it’s investment.

    Why don’t you also ask the City and Mandalay to release the final signed contract before the election? I feel that even someone as narrow minded as you will agree that it is just plain stupid to vote on something costing millions of dollars without knowing the final details before the vote…….I know you will not do any of what I have requested, you will probably comment once again about what you perceive as trust issues……….If you want to gain trust, answer questions with facts instead of fairy tales, and do not hide behind a shill name that it would appear many people use………

  • jj

    Well, I voted yesterday and I had smart enough to vote “NO”

  • Guest2020

    As with everything else in this world when costs increase they get passed down to the low man on the totem pole. You can bet when the landlord has to pay more in property tax that he is going to make up for it by making you pay. So, it is in your best interest to vote against this taxpayer funded stadium. There are options out there that are better for Wilmington.

  • SurfCityTom

    when the referendum fails, will Hinnant be looking for new employment opportunities?

    In baseball you get 3 strikes.

    Strike 1 — use of WDI credit card for stogies and other personal items.

    Strike 2 — seeting up that garden spot, last year, in a couple of downtown parking spaces which resulted in a Police summons.

    Strike 3 — failure of the referendum to pass; and look at the Port City Baseball website to see his support and smiling face. He’s issued false statements on the ballpark potential; and one has to think his involvement is to spruce up his resume which he should be circulating now before the referendum nose dives to the ground.

    In the private sector, he’d be gone.

  • Vog46

    Hinnant survives UNLESS the city comes to its senses and stops funding WDI which is a useless organization in my opinion.
    I firmly believe the city is in a position to attract businesses without needing cheerleader. Wilmington seems to have this problem that it somehow doesn’t measure up to larger cities like Raleigh, Durham. Charlotte and Winston Salem.
    My thought is why do you want to measure up to them? We have a certain set of circumstances here that make us unique as a municipality. Hinnant has his hand out looking for that next government “gimme” as a way to justify his sense of self importance.
    He’s a spokesperson for a group that needs none.


  • Vog46

    About this MOU:


    5. Capital Maintenance Fund. The City shall establish a Capital
    Maintenance Fund for capital repairs, maintenance and improvements at the Ballpark (the “Fund”). The City shall be responsible for all capital maintenance, repair and improvements of the Ballpark. All monies for the Fund shall be contributed by the City. The City shall submit for approval to the North Carolina Local Government Commission the proposal for financing the project through the issuance of bonds, and the Operator will have reasonable input into that submission, including reasonable input into the determination of what items will be considered items of capital maintenance. The City shall meet with the Operator at least annually to discuss in good faith with the Operator what capital maintenance, repair and improvement items are
    desired or necessary, and the priority of such items. However, the City shall control and manage the Fund and shall make expenditures from the Fund as the City deems necessary or appropriate in its reasonable discretion after considering in good faith all reasonable input from the Operator. The City acknowledges its commitments set forth in this Section 5 are a material inducement to ANLBC agreeing to its commitments set forth in Section 7 below. The Parties agree to negotiate and include in the final documents the specific details of which expenditures are eligible to be paid from the Capital Maintenance Fund.”

    Why does this scare me? Well consider how poorly this MOU was negotiated – it’s totally one-sided.
    What does NSS sday about Capital funds?


    Chapter 8 pg 103:
    Industry standards recommend that a capital reserve be established to fund future major capital repairs or improvements beyond routine maintenance and repairs.  It is recommended that a reserve be established in the amount of 0.5 percent of project costs in the initial year of operations, with annual contributions increasing
    three percent annually thereafter.    Assuming a ballpark project cost (excluding land and offsite infrastructure) of $35 million, it is estimated that a capital reserve would need to be funded in the amount of $175,000 per year.”

    Think about it
    MOU says the City shall be responsible for ALL funding of the capital repairs.
    NSS said that they assume it would cost:
    “it is estimated that a capital reserve would need to be funded in the amount of $175,000 per year.”

    So – am I mistaken here? Or did the city just agree to pay $175,000 per year into a fund for capital repairs?

    SC Tom? Rick? Anyone?
    $175,000 per year? Needed or not?


  • Vog46

    Of course the final agreement will contain the actual figures.
    But I’m stunned by the audacity of this deal !!
    Assume NSS is right.
    Over the next 20 years The City of Wilmington – OUR city will pay:
    20 X $175,000 or $3,500,000

    Which Mandalay can tap into if they just sit down and talk to our hard bargaining leaders (being facetious there folks) for capital projects.

    “Hey we need golden faucets in the executive suite”?
    No problem, call it a capital project and the city pays !!!

    “Oh I want different wall colors”.
    No problem, call it a capital project and the city pays !!!

    Do you know how BAD this is when you respond to your OWN posts ??!!

    I just get so mad……….


  • Rick Wilson

    Mandalay has worked this agreement so that they are covered no matter what. This whole deal is a dream come true for them. They receive, and receive, and receive, and the Wilmington tax payers get to pay, and pay, and pay. When you read this agreement you look around to see if you are on candid camera………..and when you realize it is not a joke, you just get sick that people that are “supposed to represent the people” would sign something as one sided as this. If stupidity was a crime, everyone supporting this would get life without parole…….

  • Vog46

    From the MOU which we are(have) voted on:


    pg 4-5:

    “Except as provided in Section 4(e) below, during the Term (as defined below) the
    Operator shall receive all revenues from the management, operation, and use of the Ballpark including, but not limited to, revenues generated by:
    (1) ticket sales for events held by the Operator;
    (2) the sale of “club seats” and “box seats,” seat licenses to home games, private club
    memberships, and suites;
    (3) the sale of food, beverages, and merchandise;
    (4) the sale of pouring rights;
    (5) the sale of broadcasting rights for home games played and for other events at the Ballpark;
    (6) the sale of naming rights for the Ballpark (subject to Section 6 below) ; and
    (7) the sale of advertising, signage, and sponsorships.

    Naming right are 100% Mandalay’s UNLESS they go over a certain amount
    pg 6:
    “the Operator shall share with the City fifty percent (50%) of the annual net revenue from naming rights for the Ballpark to the extent they exceed three hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars ($325,000).”
    So if the naming rights go for $325,001 the city gets 50 cents. How much can we expect?
    Naming rights for comparable ballparks is NSS Chap 8 pg 99


    “Overall, the average comparable ballpark naming rights agreement was for an average of 13 years with an annual value of $252,857.    Several of the most recent naming rights deals at comparable venues have an annual value of $300,000.”  
    A big fat ZERO – ZILCH – NADA
    the deal is written so that not only does Mandalay keep ANY profits inside the park they also won’t GIVE the city anything because the deal is structured so they don’t have to. !!!!!  

    This is, far and away the WORST deal in MiLB ball field development


  • SurfCityTom

    but I think everyone needs to be aware of just how one sided this deal is for the city of Wilmington.

    Every time one of the dashing duo states how the deal is getting sweeter and sweeter, what they really mean is sweeter for Mandalanta.

    If the city voters somehow pass this referendum, then the city deserves Saffo and his cronies.

    I wonder, how many games can you attend at a brownfield site before you either glow in the dark or begin to lose body parts?

    Vote NO

  • fellini123

    But think of all the money the city will save during night games!!!! THey wont have to pay for lighting, everyone will just glow in the dark!!!


  • Vog46

    Think about this for a minute.
    The city pays $3,5M into a fund over 20 years that Mandalay controls for all intent and purposes.
    We give them $2.9M upfront for furniture

    If cost over runs happen, WE put out $500,000 and Mandalay pays us back their half in $25,000 increments over 10 years.
    And we pay for any hurricane damages separate from regular maintenance, and separate from capital maintenance.

    So if there’s cost over runs this year AND we get hit by a hurricane during or right after its completed we could be out an awful lot of money……


  • SurfCityTom

    that appears to be a bottom line, if I read correctly. According to the agreement, Mandalanta is to have imput into the amounts required for deposit; and is to have an annual meeting to determine if the amount needs to increase.

    One would think the number will increase annually as the facility ends.

    I could see $175,000 as a first year number; but would not be surprised at much higher numbers after 5 or 10 years.


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