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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The City of Wilmington is one step closer to building a ballpark and bringing a minor league team to the Port City. The city’s consultant, National Sports Services, presented results from a recent survey about the ballpark Tuesday night, as well as some possible sites.

About one thousand people took the survey, that was available on the city’s website and sent to those in the Chamber of Commerce email database, and Convention & Visitors Bureau email databases. 69 percent of those who took the survey were residents of Wilmington. 95 percent lived in New Hanover County.

According to the survey results, 47 percent supported a public-private partnership in funding the stadium while 40 percent did not. When asked how much they would be willing to contribute as taxpayers, 46 percent said nothing, 18 percent said up to $2/month, 16 percent said from $2-$4/month and 19 percent said $4-$6/month. 67 percent agreed a ballpark would enhance quality of life, while 25 percent disagreed; 9 percent were undecided.

Though the group admitted this is just the start of a long process, some were not happy with the survey. Several spoke out against the survey results, saying they were inaccurate and not scientific.

“The sample is completely skewed,” said Ben McCoy, who has helped organize a petition against a taxpayer-funded ballpark. “I don’t know how you can really point to these results. It really shakes up to be a cheerleading thing, like go minor league baseball in Wilmington.”

Also at the meeting, potential sites were narrowed down from six to three. They include the greater downtown area, the MLK Parkway corridor and the Eastwood Rd. corridor. NSS says the sites will be narrowed down again after honing in on more specific details.

The city and NSS say they have a long way to go before a final decision.

“Part of what’s going to happen in this last phase is looking at all the information that we have in try to tell a story,” said Matt Perry, who serves as president of NSS.

“It’s a first look at it and its just another step in the process. This process is nowhere near finished,” said Margaret Haynes, a Wilmington City Councilwoman.

After a few more weeks of gathering data and making assessments, National Sports Services will give another report to city council on June 15th.


Comment on this Story

  • Mr. MikeT

    I wanna watch some baseball! I like to lick my glove.

  • SurfCityTom

    you flop around more thn a politician or an attorney.

    You point to Durham as a shining example of all that will happen should the city fund construction of the ballpark.

    The surrounding dynamics, or lack of, are very relevant to the impact stadium construction will have if it is built.

    I’ve said it before. You offer no concrete facts or numbers. You attempt to compare apples and watermelons. And you flop over when someone quotes one of your own posts or data from the Consultant’s preliminary report to disprove your position of the hour.

    Y0u and Devil are doing more harm than good for the supporters of the stadium with your madcap posts.

    Keep up the good work.

    Just for the record, I’m in Durham every other week or so. I attend Bulls games in the evening. I supported the team back in the 80’s before I relocated to Richmond. So, Mike, I am well aware of the area demographics, then and now.

    And I also enjoy games in Greensboro and WS when I am there working. In act 2 weeks ago, I was at a WS evening game with attendance of 1,800.

    Nice Try; but you fail again.

  • Grand Ole Party

    Maybe he just assumed you were intelligent enough to register your user name. If not the first time, maybe the second go around. Guess that is not the case.

  • Mr. MikeT

    Sir if you haven’t noticed I have had to change my name because some clown out there has taken my name so they post silly comments. Surely even you are smart enough to recognize that. I do enjoy the flattery of this however I make a mistake when I hope for intellectual responses.

  • GuestAboutTown

    Mike, Durham has a team with a following. The team proposed to come to Wilmington isn’t much further up the prestige ladder than the Sharks.

    Since it is you, Mike, trumpeting the success of Durham, please share with us how much the Durham taxpayers are funding their stadium. If Durham taxpayers are on the hook for debt of 30 or so million, then the 1.5 mil a year really isn’t so much after all. If you want folks to support your arguments you really need to present all of the facts.

    Given a choice of whose opinion to respect in this debate, Surf City Tom wins by a landslide. Many months ago when I was writing here under another name, Surf City Tom and I became involved in a debate about the benefits of the proposed increase in film credits from the state. Just as he is asking you, Tom asked me for hard numbers. I was able to refer to the NC Film Office site and locate the money spent by film project and present calculations of sales tax and income tax revenue. I don’t believe that I changed Tom’s mind about the credit but he did acknowledge appreciation for the receiving of the information.

    Mike, the time is right for you to cut out your pseudo-intellectual insulting babble and do what Tom asks. Give us real numbers.

  • Mr. MikeT

    Please help me out. Research each and every post that I have made over several months and show me any statement made that says I support Tax Payer Funding for the proposed Stadium. Unlike so many of you doomsday advocates, I have waited and will wait for the consultants to make a professional projection and see what involvement and what risk the city would undertake before either supporting or not any tax payer funding.
    You people who flounder around in your own irresponsible assumptions should simply back tract and wait for the proposals to be announced.
    We should all know by 6-19-12 or soon there after.

  • Mr. MikeT

    The property upon which the redevelopment project in either Durham or Wilmington in irrelevant. The challenge is where in each city is the best location to provide the additional development opportunities surrounding the stadium and the necessary revenue to make the total project work. The property tax and sales tax revenue associated to the Durham project creates over 1.5 million to the city annual. As I have said take an afternoon drive to Durham and see all this for your self.
    Your lack of business knowledge and you small thinking are showing in your comments.

  • taxpayer

    i want it
    Submitted by Mike T on Wed, 05/30/2012 – 9:34am.
    Take my money in taxes and spend it on this. It really isn’t my fault I’m not very smart.

  • SurfCityTom

    how many times does it have to be said that comparing Durham and Wilmington is like comparing a watermelon to an apple?

    The area in Durham, to which you so fervently refer, was an area of boarded up tobacco warehouses and manufacturing sites.

    Had the stadium not been built, none of those items you refer to would have materialized.

    Private investors, note the word private, came in as the repacement stadium, note replacement, was built and began to rehab or replace the run down properties.

    That’s a big difference from what will happen in Wilmington. Are you trying to say that the area surrounding PPD is run down and needs a massive injection of renovation capital?

    Why don’t you try to build support for the stadium by using realistic comparisons and realistic numbers? Pie in the sky projections will continue to doom the stadium’s future.

    How can you say no one is making revenue projections? Go read the consultant’s prelimiary report. It’s pretty specific as to projected attendance. That will feed concession sales and parking revenue.

    And your buddy Devil has been pretty blatant with pie in the sky numbers which even the most liberal thinkers, who would like a stadium, agree are unrealisitic.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Guest2020

    Just think how much of this could have been avoided if the majority of Wilmington voters had refrained from re-electing these idiots.

  • taxpayer

    Your argument in favor of a taxpayer-funded stadium by using numbers gathered from other cities much larger than Wilmington reminds me of this segment from the Jon Stewart Show:


  • Guest CommonTater

    someone doesn’t agree with your vision doesn’t make them “closed minded losers, small thinkers and dooms day advocates”. How small minded and ignorant of you… are you a current council member by chance?

    Between you and dookie you are the best thing going for the opponents…

  • Guest CommonTater

    I too would just simply like to have my voice heard via my vote. I am against any taxpayer money being used but I will live with the decision of “the people” not what the vision of the empty seats on the council want everyone to think they “need”. THAT’s how it should work folks…..

  • Mr. MikeT

    Any time you would wish to challenge my claims of success or comparisons from other cities successes all you need to do is get in your car and drive to Durham NC. Maybe with your vast knowledge of failures you could supply your list of cities that have failed with Baseball Stadium Projects and I will provide my list of cities which have succeeded. As I see it the only thing keeping Wilmington from the same success as has criss-crossed America is Wilmingtons abundance of closed minded losers, small thinkers and dooms day advocates. Those who have the responsibility for revenue projections have yet to even announce those projections, so whats your knowledge of projected failure? You must have volumes of numbers that qualify doom.
    Try www. durham center for performing arts .com or www. durham bulls and try to get a weekend ticket. Try www. tobacco road, try to get a reservation on the patio over looking the left field wall of the Bulls stadium on any game night.

  • GuestAboutTown

    MikeT, remember this. Calling folks who are questioning your use of invalid comparable situations in other communites and your weak financial analysis to support your desire to build a stadium does not make us “small minded losers”. Both you and duke are doing a poor job of winning friends and influencing people.

    Your interests have repeatedly failed to provide facts that would lead an investor (or in this case, captive taxpayers) to make an informed decision about the REAL efficacy of this project.

    You are not providing supportive answers but insulting your opponents. I have children whose dreams I am responsible to fulfill, not your stupid ideas about baseball.

    I am looking forward to a referendum on this to either get the project underway or to get the books closed on this issue so that our council can get back to the real needs of this community.

  • taxpayer

    free ride
    Submitted by Mike T on Thu, 05/31/2012 – 8:45am.
    will it get me free stuff at the expense of taxpayers? that is what im really after.

  • SurfCityTom

    put your pointed little heads together and do what so many, including myself, have called for?

    Take each facet of the proposal; crunch the numbers; and show us where the flood of revenue will come from?

    Having said that; get off the Durham comparison. There is no comparison. The area in Durham was abandoned and run down. Anything which resulted from the erection of the new stadium had to drive up deflated property values and property tax revenue.

    And don’t point to Charlotte as one of you has unsuccesfully tried twice. Charlotte was not asked to underwrite or gaurantee the loan to build the new stadium. They were asked for $11 million to help cover construction; and they very clearly noted the funds would come from hotel and restaurant taxes. And they were asked to waive property taxes for a period of time; and the Council balked on that one.

    The more you guys spout off with hot air and no specifics; the more you try to paint a pie in the sky picture with exagerated and unsupported numbers, you dig a deeper hole for the developer, Mandalay, and the team.

    Keep up the Good Work.

    Oh yes; instead of doing an entitlement seeker cry; why not man up and answer questions with specifics?

    One final question. Do either of you actually own real estate within the city limits? That’s a yes or no answer; and should not take 4 paragraphs to respond. Frankly if you do not, you have no chips on the table. You won’t be impacted by this albatros as you have no vested interest in Wilmington real estate and property tax levels.

  • 1981duke

    99.9 percent of the time…

  • Carol Kramer

    A non-random survey is worse than useless. Come on WWAY, wonder over to UNCW and talk to a statistics professor, I bet they’d be happy to explain it to you.
    I can not believe that building a ball park ON THE WATERFRONT in downtown Wilmington is even being considered. It is insane..but so is:
    Building a cement plant (offering $$$ to Titan to come)
    Building a uranium enrichment facility (and giving GE $10,000,000)
    Building an elementary and middle school on a subdivided SUPER FUND site in Castle Hayne and paying top dollar for the property.

    I’m wondering if any of these downtown sites are actually part of the Brownfields Program:
    “Brownfields are real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties protects the environment, reduces blight, and takes development pressures off greenspaces and working lands.”

  • MikeT

    You are sparring with closed minded Losers, small thinkers and doomsday advocates. There is no hope that you will influence a change within them. This breed if wrong 99% of the time would never admit it. However the one time they may be right, they would relish the opportunity to say I told you so. If you told them, that on a one and a half sq. city block in Durham NC there was generated over 5 million dollars in revenue during the month of May, they wouldn’t care! If you told them the Durham Center for the Performing Arts was booked solid for 2012 and 13 with events, it wouldn’t matter, If you told them that approx. 1,000 people have jobs in this area of redevelopment, they would say , it’s part-time! If you told them,if this can happen in Durham, it could happen in Spiveys Corner, they would say Wilmington isn’t Spiveys Corner.
    Duke, there are lots of open minded people within your reach, your message is good, look for people you might influence and encourage.
    Duke, two good things are occuring here. We are having a good debate between parties that thank God will have nothing to do with the final outcome and second WalMart is selling a ton of batteries to all the part time accounts out there for there pocket calculators.
    Have a good day friend and keep up the good work!!

  • Leslie Posey

    A city website survey is not accurate. Many of us did not even know it existed; the same person can vote repeatedly. The city should undertake a qualified, professional survey that questions a random sample of the entire population. Even my middle schoolers know that!

    I don’t understand the thinking of our city officials. If the Braves can take this team away from its current site, who’s to say they won’t move it somewhere else in 10 years and leave us stuck with the bill. If Mandaley and Atlanta think Wilmington is such a wonderful place for a ball park let THEM pay to build it.

    Put our tax money where it belongs-city infrastructure-roads, schools, fire dept, police, etc.

  • Shammalammadingdong

    So it takes thousands of dollars and a “consultant” to conduct a survey? I suppose the city has never heard of Survey Monkey. They could have gotten these same results for $25. Hooray for unnecessary spending!

  • taxpayeriam

    I just look at whom is going to benefit the most from the deal,i am talking about the people personally that will reap from the deal and get
    taxpayer monies stuffed in there pockets.

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