make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

ONLY ON 3 & WHQR-FM: The only 'official' baseball stadium debate TONIGHT at 7 p.m.


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY/WHQR) -- WWAY NewsChannel 3 and WHQR-FM 91.3 are excited to announce that we will be co-hosting Wilmington's only "OFFICIAL" baseball stadium debate featuring Mayor Bill Saffo and City Councilman Kevin O'Grady along with "Vote No Stadium Tax" spokesperson Scott Harry and Jim Rafferty, who is also with the group.

This will be the only debate featuring both the mayor and the anti-tax funded stadium group.

It will be TONIGHT beginning at 7 p.m. on WHQR-FM 91.3 and on RTV, as well as streamed live at and at On Time Warner Cable RTV is channel 106, on ATMC channel 903, on Charter Cable channel 145 and over the air at 3.2.

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.


Saffo's Folly

HEADS UP, Mayor Saffo: Infrastructure! Wages! Education! Affordable housing! Senior citizens! Low income citizens! Transportation! Hunger! High taxes and low property assessments! Funding more police and fire services! These issues and more need to be addressed before a baseball stadium. You and all other supporters need to look at real life and get your heads out of "Field of Dreams". Grow up, please!

Just curious

how do you expect Saffo to do anything about Wages?? Unless of course your a good little socialist and believe in wage controls and what not. Lets see education.. School Board is out of the hands of the Wilmington City Council.. Affordable Housing well market will charge what it will charge, most "affordable" housing Ive seen demands such low income that in order to qualify you end up paying a disproportionate amount towards housing. Now sure what you want Saffo to do about Sr citizens? They exist are you advocating moving them out??? He has no control over things such as medicare or even medicaid which is run in Raleigh. As for taxed I agree there THIS issue Saffo and the City Council can do something about and should instead of raising constantly how bout cutting taxes and quit spending soo much.. As for PD and Fire?? Again this is a split responsibility with NH County and honestly Police you may or may not have a valid reason. As a former FF/EMT I can tell you Wilmingtons Class 2 Insurance rating is one of the best in the country (top 1% in the State and Nation) which means there is plenty of fire coverage in the city at this time.

I dont disagree with the issue that paying all this money is a mistake when Ripken Baseball had a very workable PRIVATE deal for a stadium in the county but your assertions of how to spend more money dont add up either. Youre simply trading spending on the stadium to spend more money which shouldnt be the priority for the City. We the tax payers have to cut our expenses and so does the City end of story!

Just Another Saffo/O'Grady Enrichment

Why do these two keep pushing for this over objections of city taxpayers? Only one reason, somehow their pockets are getting fatter while ours bleed. Saffo is like Obama, smooth talking, good speaking skills but is not trustworthy in his speech content. He speaks with forked tongue to cover the real truth. These politicians are to represent the taxpayers but they only represent their own agenda. When the over whelming comments are not in favor of the stadium then why continue to push it. You are not elected to pursue your own agenda. You are elected to represent ours whether you agree with it or not. O'Grady yes, originally I voted for you, because you presented yourself as independent. You have proven to be a Saffo stooge so no more votes for you. City residents want elected officials to represent us, not overwhelm us with burdensome taxes. Until you get this, you will never get my vote!


When the taxes we pay on the stadium go to back to the city. Where this taxes goright back to education. First before they put it straight back to education they need to split the taxes in half roads & education. I hope you guys understand this and hope they do this with the taxes and pay for the new bridge they intend to build so we don't have to pay a toll crossing it each time.


it appears you have not been following this. The referendum is on a property tax increase to be used to fund construction of a downtown baseball stadium.

Most property owners, who pay property taxes oppose this.

If approved, there are no provisions for the funds to be used for other purposes. At least not to my knowledge.


2.5 cents over 20 years over 20 years amounts to $75M or $21M more than the stadium and interest costs. The city said for every penny raised the city collects $1.3M to $1.5M - multiple b y 2.5 you get $3.25 to $3.75M. Multiply this number by 20 years you get $65M to $75M. This assumes real estate maintains the same value 20 years from now as it is today.
If real estate values go up over the next 20 years (more than likely will double) the estimated "take" by the city will be over $100M

O'Grady said the funds could be used for OTHER purposes...



thanks for the heads up. I missed that point entirely. If it passes, I guess they do have to outfit the City skybox and put in a salon for Saffo to maintain his hair in the river fed breezes.

Sad, I had my "Vote NO

Sad, I had my "Vote NO Stadium Tax" sign stolen this Saturday night. I guess those for the ballpark will do whatever it takes!

I hope Scott Harry and crew

I hope Scott Harry and crew will reveal how the city has dropped an enormous amount of money on this project yet refuses to address at this time the low wages of its employees. They are well aware that the working force is way below fair market rate with their salaries. They rejected just about every pay appeal that was filed last month and continue to fan the flames of a plummeting morale issue. Voters, support your fire, police and other city employees. Vote NO on the stadium tax. Your tax dollars could be better spent in other areas.

Just Vote And Quit Whinning

The people that signed the petition got what they wanted and that was to put it up for a vote so why not just go to the polls and vote how you want and let the majority rule? You guys are beating this horse to death and seem scared that it is going to pass? If the majority is as overwhelming as you say then you have no problem! Just go vote!

One small problem

The one small issue I have is that non-property owners living in the city will vote on this as well. So for argument sake let's say an apartment complex with in the city has 600 residence. These 600 people do not pay property tax like home owners, but get to vote on raising home owners property tax. I smell a lawsuit if this passes, BUT if republicans come out strong to vote for Romney and Ryan I have a feeling there will be no stadium. That suits me just fine. Let private money fund it.

RE: Stadium tax

I heave read and followed this stadium proposal, and as a property owner will be voting "NO". I think that during the "discussion", someone needs to point out to the "rental market" (who may be temped to vote "YES") that they are not out of the woods. Whoever owns the property that you are renting will be hit with a substantial tax increase if this stadium nonsense passes. Do you really think that your landlord will just agree to pay the "extra" property tax increase? Hell no. They will wait until your lease term expires or is up for renewal and then pass that "baseball stadium tax" onto you in the form of an increase in rent. WAKE UP people. The stadium is a losing proposition all the way around. Just because you rent and think that it won't affect you, think again.

Stadium Tax

From what I have read the tax increase is not that significant.. around $30 per Year for every $100,000 of property value. This proposed property tax increase will be for Wilmington property owners only.
I would guess that most people in Wilmington's "rental market" live in dwellings/units that are in the $100k to $200k range (maybe lower).. that equates to a $2.50 to $5 monthly increase (If the landlord chooses to push it onto her/her tenants).


People in Wilmington don't want it, any more than the convention center was wanted. Stop wasting tax dollars and fix the streets and sewer system. I was forced to tap on to the new cape fear conspiracy system and my bill went up from 16/month to 80/month/ Why? No more of this please. I may have to pick up and move to somewhere there are real choices.

That's a debate I wouldn't

That's a debate I wouldn't mind watching. I hope the right questions get answered. I have one that I have asked before and never got an answer. Here it is once again: When Saffo was running for re-election he said in an interview that he would say "no" to a taxpayer funded stadium because Wilmington cannot afford it. What happened between then and now that has caused Wilmington to be able to afford it?

I'll make sure that's asked

Great question. The answer is we couldn't afford it then and we can't afford it now. But we'll see what the Mayor has to say....

Debate about single A stickball stadium? Why?

A debate on this silly subject isn't going to do anything but waste airtime. The voters are going to SLAM the steel door shut and triple lock it in November!!! I guess fast talkin', Hairspray Saffo just wants to hear himself talk once more before he's voted down the street.

what's the point?

Do we really think anyone will change their position on this? What a waste of time.


Dukie & MrT aka Terry Spencer be participating?

On hiatus

Dukie: Read through his old posts while trying to come up with something new and realized that even he couldn't figure out what he'd been saying. He'll be a while.

T-ball: Temporarily out of posting venom and looking for a re-supply. Allegedly attempted an internet re-order from the Poison Pen Company but they turned him down. Said he was giving poison penners a bad name.

Lets see

Saffo and O'Grady
Harry and Rafferty
And one moderator from WWAY

They should hold this at the Convention Center and call it an event !!

What happened to council not taking sides on this?



Good point about the CC. Actually it could be a multi event evening had they planned.

Each side has a pre-debate session in one of the small meeting rooms equals 2 events.

Then the debate equals 1 event.

Then post-debate sessions in small meeting rooms equals 2 additional events.

I'm surprised they missed out on this.

Of course, the Pro Ball Park crowd should reserve the big room for an election day strategy center and post election result crying chamber. They might get 2 events here.

Excellent idea VOG

One problem...PARKING !! Oh yeah, that will forever be a problem, much less IF, this silly idea moves forward.

The Duke 1981 File

Haven't heard a lot out of Kuebler lately on this subject. He must be bound and gagged in a closet somewhere, or someone took his I-Pad away from him.