FIRST ON 3: City didn’t reach deal with Mandalay/Braves this week


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The City of Wilmington’s talks with Mandalay and the Atlanta Braves are done for the week, but there is still no deal for the proposed ballpark.

With an August 7 deadline looming, Councilman Kevin O’Grady says there is still a lot to work out.

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“The past few days there has been frank but usually cordial discussions of issues,” O’Grady said.

O’Grady says there has been significant progress in negotiations on a ballpark deal, but with a 20-year contract to consider, it will take more time to figure out the details of a recommendation.

As far as the issues discussed during the meetings, O’Grady is staying tight-lipped.

“You have to understand there is a complete set of issues,” he said. “No issues are resolved until they all are, so I don’t want to talk about any particular one. Every one relates to the other.”

O’Grady did reiterate that the bond referendum will be less than the $42 million originally cited in a feasibility study

He says negotiations will continue through phone conversations over the next few days, but even with progress, nothing is set in stone.

“I’m just not an odds maker. I can’t tell you what the odds are,” O’Grady said. “We’re moving in the right direction.”

O’Grady says he does not expect to have anything to recommend to council at their special meeting Tuesday. He says everything will be wrapped up by their August 7 meeting, which will lso include a public hearing on a bond referendum on November’s ballot.

We tried to reach Mandalay’s Rich Neumann this afternoon. He has not yet returned our call.