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The NSS report

Makes a gross assumption for the Wilmington area.
Using 2011 census data from wiki and the NSS report on comparable attendance figures from other comparable cities I found that the team in Cedar Rapids (city pop of 126,326) had an average attendance of 2578 or just over 2% of the city population.
Fort Wayne (city population of 253,691) had an average attendance of 5612 or just over 2% of the city population
Wilmington has a population of 106,476 and an estimated attendance of 3400 in year 2017 (pg 73 of the report).
This comes out to over 3% of the cities population.
Why is there a such a large difference? Is NSS overstating the estimated popularity of baseball in Wilmington? Their own figures suggest that they are!
Now look at other uses.
Wilmington area HS Baseball coaches expressed "interest" if the right deal could be worked out however all said that budgeted monies were very tight and each has their own field already. My take on this is high school baseball is not a viable alternate use.
The Wilmington Sharks were vehemently opposed and suggested they would leave should this stadium be built. So they are out.
The Hammerheads were happy with Legion Stadium. So they are out
UNC-W seems to have the biggest interest and I think they could actually do well with a stadium "off campus".
So what other events? Concerts? Sorry convention center would have first dibs and indoor (read air conditioned spaces) are far better for concert goers. Same goes for high school graduations.
Little league? Average attendance is maybe couple of hundred folks, if that. Religious events? Possible but not probable.

The convention center offers far better accommodations for most events and would directly compete against this stadium. I cringe having one albatross around our necks already - we certainly don't need two. Especially if these two are cannibalizing each others events.
I don't know what our city leaders are thinking. We are a coastal city with a virtual limitless playground called beaches. It's why people come here. Fort Wayne can't offer that, nor can Winston Salem or Greensboro. We already have lost a AA minor league team when the Port City Roosters moved out due to lack of attendance.
Yet NSS estimates show they anticipate not the average of 2% of total city population to attend the games they estimate 3% - when in fact there's so much more to do in this area!
And they want a $24M commitment from Wilmington? Of course they will also have costs and they still have not purchased the team they plan to move here (thats also in the report).
This is too "pie in the sky" for me. Sure baseball is popular the survey shows this, but when it comes to paying for it the enthusiasm diminishes quite a bit.
Walk away NOW city council - the numbers do not add up.

Best Regards


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