Wilmington (N.C.) officials say they're dedicated to a new-ballpark budget under $40 million, but talks between the city and Mandalay Baseball Properties continue over the parameters of a deal.
The two sides are working on a proposal for a public funded new facility to be managed by Mandalay and occupied by the relocating Lynchburg Hillcats (High Class A; Carolina League), a team to be owned by the Atlanta Braves. The city has taken first steps toward a $42-million bond issue, but city leaders want to see the total cost of the project come in below $40 million -- and it will take at least $6 million for the waterfront site under consideration.
Last week's negotiations failed to yield a deal, but talks are still ongoing. “There's a lot of details to be worked out,” said Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo. “We've come to agreement on some terms and we want to make sure that their lawyers see it, our lawyers approve of it, so there's still a lot of work to be done.”
The latest move: the City Council moved forward with steps needed to put a referendum on the fall ballot for voter approval of a new facility. The city has until Aug. 8 to come up with the actual ballot language, and an Aug. 7 meeting of the City Council is set to approve a total amount to bonded.
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