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Mayor slams Wilmington ballpark financing proposal

Carolina LeagueWilmington (N.C.) Mayor Bill Saffo has come out against the current financing proposal for a new ballpark, saying the proponents don’t have enough “skin in the game.”

In an interview with a local conservative talk-radio host, Saffo blasted the plan:

“Pardon the pun here; we’re putting all of our skin into the game and they have very little skin in the game,” Saffo told Chad Adams during an appearance on The Big Talker FM Tuesday morning.

Not quite sure what he meant by that: the proposal calls for a private developer to use donated land for a new ballpark site to house a facility inhabited by an Atlanta Braves High Class A Carolina League farm team and managed by Mandalay Baseball Properties. The developer would borrow money to build the $35-million facility; the city and rent paid by the Braves/Mandalay partnership would pay off the debt. But these are the broad outlines of the plan; the specifics still need to be announced, and we weren’t expecting much in the way of news on the Wilmington ballpark front until National Sports Services released its report on feasibility, sites and financing next month.

Until Saffo dropped his bombshell, that is.

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