One thing that our city has is news outlets of varying capabilities. IN order to get a clear picture of just what is going on here you have to go to the Star News, here and WECT. Each outlet reports on this story differently.
"The lease" and it's outrageous demand of $50K penalty for failure to complete the stadium on time seems to have taken Council by surprise. Whether it's a negotiating tactic or not it appears to have soured Council on this deal.
First the link to the Star news article:
Here are some snips from this article:
"Elected leaders contacted by the StarNews initially scoffed when told a lease being proposed by Mandalay and the Braves for a baseball stadium includes completing the building by March 2014 and charging the city $50,000 a day if it's not done by then."
It appears as though Council and the Mayor were taken aback by this.
"The council has from now until the next meeting on July 10 to come to an agreement with Mandalay and the Braves on a deal for building a potentially $36 million to $42 million stadium."
If I read this correctly if no deal is struck by July 10 then this will NOT go forward to a vote in November. Additionally after Raiford Trask pulled out from the deal with Mandalay it now became the city's responsibility to find a private partner to assist with this deal.
"If the city doesn't want to foot the bill entirely, it needs to negotiate with Mandalay for more of a contribution, get help from New Hanover County or find private partners.
"I don't know what other private financing is out there," Padgett said. "Nobody has called me and said I'd like to help pay for this stadium.""
If the city IS responsible for finding private financing partners now as the above indicates, and as Padgett has indicated no one seems to want to assist in privately funding this would become a moot point at the July 10 council meeting. When Trask et al pulled out it left the city as the sole funding source. The previous funding proposal from Mandalay/Braves was $8M of funding between THEM and Flywheel/Trask.
Ted Davis has indicated that County Commissioners would not help fund the stadium with county taxpayer dollars, however Commissioner Barfield said they might. This is not a ringing endorsement from county leaders - far from it. I would be surprised (and unpleasantly so) to see the county chipping in on this.
So we keep coming back to the City and the city alone as the funding source unless Mandalay and the Braves chip in MUCH more than they originally anticipated. I suspect that in order to maintain their 18% profit that they will now put in far less than $8M which included funds from Flywheel Trask. Now that those funds have dried up that 18% profit comes into play here.
I suspect that unless the city gets a partner that this deal may die on July 10. The previous profit figures were based upon the Braves/Trask/city partnership. Now that Trask has pulled out it boils down to Braves/City and whomever the city can find - which Pagett alludes to being NO ONE. Council man Anderson says the gap in funding without Trask involved is VERY BIG and has to be closed.
BTW the story doesn't say this but aren't we down to 2 potential sites? The MLK corridor is out with the withdrawal of Trask and the Cameron family deals. Eastwood road is out as the owner of THAT property has apparently (I think) said his parcel is out. The Star News article seems to imply that the 2 parcels are down town and Military Cutoff Station road area. That area is highly congested (north of Mayfaire but south of Harris Teeter) and I have to wonder where that parcel actually is.
Anyway, this is why I believe that this deal will collapse before going to the voters in November. The elected officials know it will get rejected if the city has to pay for the whole thing. The collapse of the private funding deal with Trask is reminiscent of the convention center hotel funding collapses and the city won't want to go through THAT again. And the Braves need to maintain that 18% profit margin.
Council would be smart to end this now and ask Fulton McCoy to pull the referendum from the ballot voluntarily.
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