Thats what the assistant city manager told council according to the Star news about the lease. I DO believe that the lease is a starting point but the financial facts still remain the same here.
First since private funding has disappeared the city will have to go forward with the bond referendum as if it were paying for the whole thing. This may put a worst case scenario before the voters and I doubt that it would fly given the economic conditions of the time.
Second - it is possible that the residents will be faced with 2 votes on this issue. First will be the Fulton/McCoy petition. This has enough ambiguity in it to make me think that it might have to be rejected because it could affect any help the city is giving the Sharks and Hammerheads AND more importantly it could tie any future councils hands if a better deal came forward from any other potential professional teams in the future.
Second the bond referendum for THIS project. Assume the stadium is to cost $40M total.
$40M - reject it
$30M - reject it
$20M - reject it (but they're now getting my attention)
Anything UNDER $20M should be approved if the Braves would agree to a multi year guarantee of lease payments.
You see whats happening here. I'm telling the Braves - YES we love baseball, YES we love the Braves and YES there are risks involved and YES you can make your 18%, but the risk is now more so on the Braves side. Where it SHOULD be.
This would also make the Braves consider the NSS report and allow them to decide if its accurate or not. If the picture is so rosy for baseball in Wilmington then the Braves would accept more of the financial risk. Anything less than that tells me the Braves think the NSS report is a bunch of mularky. So, let the baseball people make the judgement on the baseball survey, they know the business far better then 'Hairspray' Bill Saffo and council does.
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