Kevin, I enjoyed learning more about the business of MiLB and the proposed stadium. Even though I enjoy baseball, Wilmington, meaning tax payers, have no business entering the baseball business. Personally, I think it should be a rare exception that a city should enter into business arrangements with the private sector. Even if the city is, in effect, only the landlord it is very dependent on the private business to be successful and the city will probably have little control over that success, or failure. We do not need to be in the rental/real estate business.
As you pointed out, teams leave cities all the time, for various reasons. Twenty year agreement or not, Wilmington would stand a good chance of being burned. Businesses are often able to wiggle out of leases. Besides, would the stadium even be paid for in twenty years? If not, what happens then?
Supporters say the stadium will be used for other activities but those activities will depend on the weather. If it's a pay-at-the-door event and the weather is iffy, people will probably stay away.
I hope this stadium will not be crammed down our throats, and built, like the convention center. Even though the convention center is to be completely funded by room occupancy taxes I don't doubt that someday our tax dollars will have to be used to keep it afloat.
If the Braves want a team here, they should build the stadium. Then they can rent it out to help pay the mortgage.
Just a word about attendance. I attended a few games when the other two MiLB teams were here but attendance wasn't that good, if I recall.
The people in Richmond, VA seem to have done it right.
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