City and county elected officials respond to ballpark talks ending


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A day after the City of Wilmington approved the annexation request of a developer, the county announced it will postpone talks regarding the building of a minor league baseball stadium.

Wednesday New Hanover County Manager Bruce Shell and Commissioner Jonathan Barfield said the county will end all talks with the city regarding the building of a minor league baseball stadium. This comes as a response to City Council’s approval of an annexation request made by a developer. The county had urged the city not to approve the request.

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“Based on the decision that was made last night I don’t see how that (stadium) is going to happen,” Barfield said. “To me, the tone of the whole meeting last night was not good. The comments that were made, in my opinion, were comments to tear down and not build up. At this point I can tell you pretty clearly that the Board of County Commissioners will not be in the baseball discussion.”

For some City Council members the county’s decision to back out of baseball does not sit right.

“It’s sad the baseball opportunity did not have a fair chance,” Councilwoman Margaret Haynes said. “The whole situation is very sad.”

“The county is not taking anything away from the baseball project,” Councilwoman Laura Padgett said. “The county has not agreed to pay anything.”

Other elected officials though are hopeful that the ballpark discussion between the city and county will continue down the road.

Councilman Kevin O’Grady says he will always look for ways to bring more economic opportunity to the area and he hopes the county will too.

Commissioner Jason Thompson says for him, baseball talks are not over. He thinks a minor league team will be a big economic asset to the area.