WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The Atlanta Braves, Mandalay Baseball Properties and the City of Wilmington have reached a tentative ballpark agreement. The city says the cost of the ballpark will not exceed $31 million and would be paid for by a 2.5-cent property tax increase.
A news release says the Braves have committed to put a minor league team in the Port City for at least 20 years and pay the highest rent in the Carolina League. Ownership expects the team will bring approximately 25 full time jobs and 350 seasonal jobs.
"We continue to believe a multi-use facility and an affiliate of the Atlanta Braves will be a tremendous boost to the City of Wilmington," Atlanta Braves Executive Vice President of Business Operations Mike Plant said in a statement. "As people take time to review this proposal, they will see the value of the Atlanta Braves' commitment to becoming part of the Wilmington community for decades to come."
City Council is expected to vote on the plan at its meeting Tuesday. Voters will decide on a bond referendum for the stadium November 6.
This evening, the city released some of the details of the plan for the ballpark:
-A 6,200-seat ballpark to be located on at least seven acres of downtown riverfront property that could also include a 1.5-acre city park
-Ballpark construction costs would not exceed $31 million, funded by a 2.5-cent property tax increase
-20-year commitment by the Braves
-Anticipated cost of $6 million for land acquisition/remediation; this money would be paid back to the city from the Braves/Mandalay with annual rent and management fees
-Target date for completion would be April 2014 or April 2015, depending on final design
-Braves/Mandalay would be responsible for ballpark’s operating expenses and in exchange would receive all revenues
-Annual management/rent fee payments of $500,000 from the Braves/Mandalay for 20 years
-Another club, such as a university team, could use the ballpark as its home stadium if agreements can be reached
-Project contingent upon:
·Passage of voter referendum
·City acquiring the site and able to build the ballpark for $31 million
·Team purchasing the minor league club in Lynchburg, VA, moving it here and being approved by Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball and the Carolina League
The full agreement and City Council agenda materials will be posted on the city's website by noon on Friday