Wilmington (N.C.) voters will be asked to approving bonding for a new ballpark this fall, as officials throw out a controversial petition that would bar city spending on a facility.
Voters will be asked to approve $42 million in bonding for all the costs of a new ballpark for the relocating Lynchburg Hillcats (High Class A; Carolina League), including land acquisition and infrastructure improvements; the team will be owned by the Atlanta Braves and the ballpark managed by Mandalay Baseball Properties. City officials and Mandalay are still negotiating a potential lease and scope of the project. A report from National Sports Services indicated the $42 million would be the top end on the price spectrum; voter approval would not obligate the city from borrowing that full amount, and city officials have already indicated they're looking at a considerably more modest facility (though, if you throw out $6 million or so for land and another $2 million for infrastructure improvements, you're already looking at a considerably more modest facility than first proposed by Mandalay). The specifics of the referendum question will be determined in early August; Mandalay and the city will negotiate a lease in coming weeks.
At the same meeting the council threw out a petition that would prevent the city from spending any money on new sporting facilities. The legal rationale: organizers of the petition drive didn't attach affidavits saying they were registered voters in the city at the time, and the ages of signers were not uniformly gathered. The issue of outsiders coming into Wilmington to conduct the petition drive was a sore subject among some city citizens: outside money in the form of ad spending from Americans for Prosperity was also a topic of contention, and the issue of whether outsiders were coming in to influence city politics is a consideration here. Organizer Josh Fulton says he may go to court to overrule the council decision to throw out the petitions.
RELATED STORIES: New Wilmington ballpark: uncertainty reigns; Wilmington officials: Proposed ballpark lease won't happen; Wilmington to ask voters to approve new-ballpark bonding; NSS: New ballpark would generate $172 million in new spending; Third time's the charm: petition opposing Wilmington ballpark funding succeeds; More signatures tossed in Wilmington anti-ballpark petition drive;Opponents of Wilmington ballpark fail in petition drive; No ballpark money in upcoming Wilmington budget; "Free" land not so free in Wilmington; Referendum on horizon for new Wilmington ballpark; Wilmington ballpark sites down to three; poll indicates support; Mayor slams Wilmington ballpark financing proposal; Preferred site emerging for Wilmington ballpark?; Mandalay, Braves to update Wilmington on ballpark; Five potential ballpark sites under discussion in Wilmington; The race is on: NSS given marching orders in Wilmington; Wilmington bypasses Ripken Design as ballpark project manager; NSS is hired; Ripken Design chosen to oversee Wilmington ballpark planning; controversy ensues; Mandalay, Braves to pursue private financing for new Wilmington ballpark; Business leaders to push for new Wilmington ballpark; What should Wilmington expect for new-ballpark attendance?; Poll: Wilmington residents overwhelmingly oppose public financing of new ballpark; Proposed Wilmington lease: Mandalay would pay 12 percent of debt service; Atlanta Braves have tentative deal to buy Lynchburg Hillcats; New Wilmington ballpark would be part of hotel, marina complex; Wilmington to move forward with ballpark talks; Wilmington to discuss new Braves ballpark tomorrow night; Wilmington looks at development deal with Mandalay, Braves; Wilmington ballpark dead on arrival?; Another new effort for Wilmington minor-league baseball?
Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you a subscriber to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter? You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.
|< Prev||Next >|