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The race is on: NSS given marching orders in Wilmington

Carolina LeagueWilmington (N.C.) officials today gave instructions to National Sports Services about what they expect in terms of a new-ballpark consulting report due in June.

National Sports Services (NSS) will be representing the city on construction and funding of a new ballpark for the relocating Lynchburg Hillcats (High Class A; Carolina League), which will be owned by the Atlanta Braves and managed by Mandalay Baseball Properties. NSS’s mandate, according to the Star-News, will be to identify a ballpark site (in addition to the waterfront site already under discussion) and present funding options and economic benefits. A June deadline was presented in order to give enough time for construction in time for a 2014 opening.

NSS was the second selection for the city, hired after Ripken Design was rejected because of possible business conflicts with Mandalay.

The city is negotiating with Mandalay Baseball Properties and the Braves for a new ballpark. If financing for the $40-million project can be arranged, a new ballpark could open for the 2014 season.

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