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Business leaders to push for new Wilmington ballpark

Carolina League

A new group of Wilmington (N.C.) business leaders is pushing for construction of a downtown ballpark for an Atlanta Braves farm team.

The business leaders have formed the Wilmington Ballpark Coalition in an It will be headed by Jim Hundley, Jr., CEO of T2 Healthcare, which makes medical devices.

“We’ve seen the great things that a new ballpark can do to build civic pride and spur economic development, and our City Council is taking the right approach in negotiating a long-term deal to build a ballpark here,” Hundley said via press release. “We want to let the Council know that we are behind their efforts as they work on the right deal for taxpayers.

“Unfortunately in Wilmington, we have several groups who want to just say no to any possible city project,” he added. “I think that sends the wrong message to the City Council. These types of public/private partnerships can be a big boost to Wilmington, and we can’t dismiss their great potential.”

The politics of a new ballpark in Wilmington are interesting. The city is negotiating with Mandalay Baseball Properties and the Braves for a new waterfront ballpark, with Mandalay managing the facility and Braves relocating the Lynchburg Hillcats (High Class A; Carolina League). We’ve seen no formal lease or proposal yet, but local talk radio has come down hard against any public funding or financing of a ballpark, commissioning a poll on the subject from a conservative think-tank despite the lack of any formal plan. This group apparently wants to bring some sort of balance to the table.

RELATED STORIES: What shouild 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?


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