No final agreement yet on proposed ballpark


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The future of a ballpark in the Port City is still not a done deal, but an agreement has been drafted. There are some new numbers in the total price tag of bringing a minor league team to Wilmington and building a ballpark.

Highlights of the agreement at this time include:

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-Participation between the city and Mandalay/Braves for the cost of construction and operation of a minor league baseball facility over the course of 20 years.

-A 5,500-seat ballpark to be located on 8.5 acres of what was formerly known as the Almont 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.

-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.

-The target date for completion would be April 2014 or April 2015, depending on final design.

On Monday, after their regularly scheduled meeting at 8:30 a.m., Wilmington City Council will meet in a closed session meeting to discuss baseball negotiations to date. After that, an announcement will be made about the status of the negotiations, according to city spokeswoman Malissa Talbert.

“This gives the council members an opportunity to hear and weigh in altogether and they have not had that opportunity since these negotiations have been going on these last couple of weeks,” Talbert said. “What they’ll do on Monday is get together and talk about this and then they’ll determine what next steps they want to take, including what if any action they want to take on Tuesday night.”

WWAY reached out to City Councilman Kevin O’Grady, but he did not want to comment until after all council members sit down together and talk about the agreement Monday morning.