Saffo: City considering several locations for ballpark

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Submitted: Fri, 02/17/2012 - 9:38pm
Updated: Mon, 02/20/2012 - 9:03am

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — You might say the City of Wilmington is still in the first inning of the effort to bring baseball to town. City leaders say there’s still a lot to be done including where to build.

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo says it’s time to figure out the logistics of building a new baseball stadium in the Port City. He says various locations are under consideration.

“As of today, we’ve had several people that have come forward to talk to us about the possibility of selling their property for the ballpark,” said Saffo, who would not give details of specific locations.

Linda Register represents a plot of land across the river from the Convention Center. She says the location is perfect for the new stadium.

“First of all, we already have a decent highway system that comes right by this property,” she said. “Second of all, it’s right on the point where the two rivers connect, and I think there’s almost eight acres here, so there’s ample space. And you could be sitting in the stadium and what would your view be but downtown Wilmington.”

Register says if the ballpark is built across the river from downtown, it would help build up the riverfront on both sides.

“I think if we can make this as beautiful as the other side then we would have a total inner harbor experience,” Register said.

Figuring out where the park should go is just one of the issues facing the city. It plans to spend about $433,000 over the next year and a half just on various costs tied to the negotiations.

Saffo says the city is working to ease residents’ concerns.

“We have to have it all evaluated and processed, so when we come out with what this thing is going to cost, people will know exactly what those numbers are,” Saffo said.

Register says she has not yet formally presented the property to the city, but she hopes to do that next week.


  • I. Ben Ribdoff says:

    Perhaps the 1% who will benefit financially from this ploy, rather than the 99%, who will be stuck with the bills and none of the profits, should pay for this “study”. Let’s see the team’s owners and the real estate developers come up with the money.

  • Guest CommonTater says:

    The hell with what the people want right city council? Right saffo? The idiots keeps voting these morons in and this is what we get…..

    ** I don’t expect the Gestapo at WWAY to have to nads to post this**

  • Jason says:

    This makes me really sad to see leaders totally disregard the will of the people in favor of personal gain. When will politicans wake up and see the sun is setting on this type of leadership. Those days are coming to an end. Mayor Saffo I would have to ask what is the rush to bring a baseball stadium to Wilmington? Why would you want to lay an even heavier tax burden on the people in the city? Things are high enough and costing more everyday. There is a severe lack of decent paying jobs in this area. Instead of building a baseball stadium, you should look into bringing jobs to this area. I wouldn’t consider manning a concession stand at a baseball stadium on a seasonal basis something someone could support a family off of. Just my opinion.

  • Bradley Dunn says:

    It appears that leaders in Wilmington are bent on building in their own honor. Look at the large number of CFCC buildings, with more on the way. While this can certainly be good for our town, the timing is strange considering the need for communty infrastructure and pending college tuition hikes. Saffo’s latest venture of a ballpark is simply astounding considering public need for infrastructure repair. It bothers me to picture the view of the river blocked, again, by poor city planning. The parking needs and traffic planning is dreadful now, just imagine how this will impact downtown.

  • Melvin Purvis says:

    I would love to see baseball here, but why doesn’t the City ask the Braves or Mandalay to spend any money on the upfront costs? If this were a true partnership, they would be paying at least 50% of the cost of the ballpark, not 13% as the Star reported. This deal is so one-sided against the taxpayers, it is ridiculous!

  • Wade Griffis says:

    The last time baseball was interesting was when one of it’s most famous players was a drunk. I believe his name was Babe Ruth.

    He did accomplish a great thing though: He lent his name to Baby Ruth, a really great candy bar.

  • guesty says:

    I really hope this is the straw that finally breaks the camels back and will wake up the voters in Wilmington. It doesn’t take but 5 to 10 minuets to vote. But first you have to take the time to check out the candidates and this will ring true at the next election: Don’t re-elect ANYBODY!

  • Justin America says:

    be very happy right now. Things are going to get much worse and then, these will be the good ole days.

  • John says:

    Why does it make you furious?

  • Guest Jer says:

    You’re not the only one furious!!! They all need to be voted out of office.

  • Guest111 says:

    The gall of the mayor and council is absolutely amazing. This makes me furious!

  • Bubba, Bosco and Wade says:

    Since the city is seemingly hell bent on hiring consultants, I would like to submit our firm as a candidate for the job of Consultant for the unknowing, unable and unusefull.

    Since City council seems not able to pass gas without the help of a “consultant”, we stand ready to help out.

    The name of our firm is “Bubba, Bosco and Wade. Bubba is the clinky one. It is amazing that he still knows enough to lift his leg when he pees. Wade is the one that gets drug around town trying to give these guys their morning exercise.

    And then we have Bosco!! What can I say? Probably the smartest creature on earth. Way too smart to have to put up with us.

    And so: The Consultant firm of Bubba, Bosco and Wade stand ready to help Wilmington in its time of need.

    We believe we could perform this service for $40 thousand dollars.You may note that is ten percent of $400 thousand.

    Twenty thousand would buy a lot of kibbles.. The other twenty thousand would keep me in red wine for as long as I will live.

  • Citizen of the Republic says:

    The subject of a baseball stadium decision, which has barely been in the news for a month now is concerning.

    Whether your for or against it, the simple fact is that the city council made their decision before any input from the public.

    The fact that the council makes it appear that it wants public input, while already knowing that it will make absolutely no difference, is disturbing and alarming.

    With little regard for taxpayers, they are ready to spend almost a half-million dollars, even before the public and taxpayers are behind it wreaks of back room dealing hidden from the light of day.

    Again, for it or not, everyone should demand an open and accountable city government. As of right now, we aren’t getting it.

  • Erlkoenig says:

    Taxo saffo couldn’t care less about the financial hardships of the citizens. As witnessed by his indifference to the testimony of dozens of people on how forced annexation was going to affect them. He wants his monuments and he’s gonna get ‘em.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    …he’s obviously telling the voters in Wilmington to drop dead and go to blazes. It’s obviously full speed ahead and damn the (financial) torpedoes. You’re getting a baseball stadium whether you like it or not!

  • Guestnoball says:

    Saffo, look at the votes on here. Nobody wants “YOUR” ballpark. Do you have a hidden agenda? Do you or any of the other councilmen have some shady plans that will come out later? YOUR ballpark needs to be voted on by the people of New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington. We need to fight to get companies here so people will have jobs, not some ballpark that is going to sit empty, because nobody can afford to spend the money to go. Quit thinking about yourself and think of others for once!

  • Brian says:

    What will the ballpark do to water / sewer rates? CFPUA will need to increase capacity to service its needs, correct?

  • I. Ben Ribdoff says:

    Perhaps the 1% who will benefit financially from this ploy, rather than the 99%, who will be stuck with the bills and none of the profits, should pay for this “study”. Let’s see the team’s owners and the real estate developers come up with the money.

  • Guest Reply says:

    “Saffo says the city is working to ease residents’ concerns.” (Unquote)
    My reply: Then step down out of office…that’ll ease a lot of concerns!

    (Saffo’s Quote)
    “We have to have it all evaluated and processed, so when we come out with what this thing is going to cost, people will know exactly what those numbers are,” Saffo said.” (Unquote)
    Question: Do people think he really cares about cost?

    Until this fiasco goes any further…our taxes will rise and rise for something that isn’t any more than a dream…reaching and reaching and running to try and get somewhere (and you don’t!)
    If it’s built across the river…let them pay for it completely! It’s their county! Better yet…build it in Montana!

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