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ONLY ON 3: Watch the Wilmington ballpark debate

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Thursday night WWAY NewsChannel 3 and WHQR-fm hosted the only live debate focused on the ballpark bond referendum. Mayor Bill Saffo and Councilman Kevin O'Grady represented the city and Vote Yes Ballpark. Businessmen Scott Harry and Jim Rafferty spoke on behalf of Vote No Ballpark Tax.

The debate was spirited and heated at times, as both sides voiced their opinions on what has become an emotionally-charged issue in the Port City.

Play the video above to watch the full debate.

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.

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At 22 min. left Kevin

At 22 min. left Kevin O'Grady shows how truly moronic he is at economics. He says that $2M of government spending is worth it to get $8M of private sector spending.

What he fails to realize, assuming this $8M pie in the sky number is even correct, that those $8M in private spending do not all return to the government in the form of taxes. Only something like 1 or 2% do.

So, what we're getting here, assuming their numbers are right, is $2M of government spending (derived from YOU, the taxpayer) in return for about $80,000 of sales taxes, which is equal to about the total compensation of about one lobbyist for the city.

Pretty bad investment.

Now, imagine if this, like most of America used to be run, was done through private investment. People voluntarily exchange money and the government happily gets $80k.

A lot better than doling out $2M for it.

Hmmm, private investment is sounding better and better. Too bad O'Grady and the overwhelming majority of our Socialistic City Council doesn't get it.

The Mayor and Council man O'Grady

Did not look at, nor evaluate, the NSS information. They ha egg on their faces when Padgett pointed out the very BIG discrepancy about the jobs figures which they added together for 20 years. IT turns out to be 25 full time jobs and very limited part time jobs.
But when you look at comparable ball parks and chapter 6 estimated demand you then see how they painted Wilmington as such a rosy place to put a ball park.
Just look at page 75 and look particularly at the Fort Wayne Ticncaps stadium use figures. They have 5 TIMEs as many other uses as their closest stadium rival does. They have over 4 TIMES more non-tenant events then their closest stadium rival does - yet NSS used them. Why?

Well if they didn't the average would drop by a LOT.
And if the averages drop by a A LOT - the proposed estimates for ILM non baseball use drops by? A LOT !!!
Same goes for market penetration estimations.
Why did they not use the Lake County Captains and Stockton Ports? Why If they had their 0.2% market penetration would drastically LOWER the attendance projections for ILM's proposed stadium !!!

Now if attendance at ballgames is lower,and number of non-tenant events is lower what do you suppose happens to over-all economic impact? It is lower!
Then take a look at the multipliers used. All the academic studies show that multipliers are way too high and should be below 1.0 or 1.0 itself.

Its apparent to me that this project was proposed with passage in mind - no questions mind you - just passage. Information pertaining to projections was cherry picked so as to show positive results but attempt to do so showing some "not so good numbers" as well.
Council woman Padgett caught them on the jobs numbers fudging. Scott, Jim, Ben and Josh "called" them on these bad numbers.
We should run, not walk , RUN away from this project. It is the convention center redux or to put it in baseball terms - it's the second half of a double header!!! We lost on the first one - do we want to lose on the second as well?
The answer to taxpayer funding then was "NO", now is "NO" and in the future it should be "NO"...........

Vog

Vog

I should know the answer; but it escapes me.

When the referendum fails, does that mean the exclusive agreement between Mandalanta and the City goes away automatically or is there a date for final resolution involved? Does it require action by the City Council?

Was I the only one who noticed the Mayor's doo did not have its normal bounce and fluffiness?

Tom

I believe the following happens:

All tentative agreements on land purchases become moot almost immediately unless extended by council.
The MOU with Mandalay lasts until Jan of 2013.
Two possible scenarios come to mind here
The deal just goes completely south and in January the MOU is done,
Or
Mandalay announces between now and January that they have magically found private investors willing to take on PART of the risk, OR they find enough to fund all of it privately.

My problem with that is it will cause a backlash of animosity within the community and Mandalays trustworthiness will will disappear (like they every had any but.....).

Unless someone knows something else....

Vog

Either downtown site

has 1 significant problem from the gitgo. Where will patrons park?

I could be wrong, but it does not appear either site has sufficient space for parking.

Does that mean the convention center parking deck?

I don't think folks are going to shell out $4 or $5, if it's kept that low, for parking on top of tickets, snacks, drinks & souveniers.

But then, I don't have that great marketing skill alluded to by Dukie and Terry.

The proposed Ripken site, across the river, looks better and better with each passing day and new revelation.

Remember this....

Your property values just went down...your property taxes went up to compensate the 2 sitting on the left side of this panel...and to help secure monies for this "Dream Big Folks" project in addition to the proposed 2.5 cents per $100. Yes...Dream Big Folks, as Saffo does.
With 2 weeks notice recently, my wife and I just received a mortgage statement notice that our escrow increased $360 per year for property tax increase, and home owners insurance. 2 weeks notice to adjust for an underhanded way of this city receiving funds at our loss...not theirs... "Not Now".
Notice Landfall was thrown out of the equation, for a possible location because of possible traffic issues...as if their proposed location has 6 lane roads to handle any kind of traffic this stadium could produce if successful. A Pot calling the Kettle Black huh?
Why are people fighting against this proposed ball field with such negative statements and remarks in recent news as Saffo remarked on? Simple...local tax payers are sick and tired of their funds being snatched away from them, for whatever reason council sees fit.
The issues of adequate roads was not addressed...only in respect to the Mayfair/Landfall area. Funny how those areas were dismissed!
Second thought...it's not funny...it's obvious!

TAXPAYER PASS ON THIS ONE!

Once again, thanks to WHQR & WWAY for stepping up to the plate on this one. WHQR has hosted a number of candidates debates this election, and WWAY is always out front, and reporting the other side as well, on local issues. We had 2 area leaders & 2 area businessmen give us their views.

I do not believe this is the role of government or the proper use of tax dollars. I also believe this stadium venture will cost MUCH more than presented, and the liabilities will plague us for decades. I also believe the stadium will hurt existing area businesses, as it takes away from those competing venues.

Furthermore, and I may stand alone on this one, I do NOT see this as optimum use of the riverfront entrance of our city, and it's estimated only 2% of the residents will ever set foot in the place.

Let's take a 'taxpayer pass' on this one.

Debate

OH......BTW.......that knocking sound that City Councilman Kevin O'Grady made last night.........that was the final nails being driven into the coffin containing this stadium project and Saffo's and O'Grady's political careers. He should have left the comedy routine to the pros, there is nothing about this whole process that has been funny........