An unsettled situation became even more unsettled today, as a proposed 2013 budget for Wilmington (N.C.) lacks any money for a new ballpark for an Atlanta Braves farm team.
The budget, unveiled during a work session this morning, does include a small tax hike to pay for infrastructure (roads, sidewalks) improvements. But in the face of a petition drive that will likely spur a referendum on any public money going toward a proposed new ballpark, the City Council and Mayor Bill Saffo decided against including any money for the project.
Of course, there’s more than a little bit of posturing involved. Since there’s not yet a solid ballpark funding proposal at hand, there’s no specific request for any city spending yet. So even though there was no request for any city money, Saffo and the rest of the City Council seemed to go out of their way to reassure voters that no ballpark money was included in the small tax hike being considered. With city officials fleeing from the ballpark-funding issue at every turn, we’re not so sure we’ll even get to the point where voters have a chance to decide on city funding — and that’s surely causing some concern for Mandalay Baseball Properties, who would manage the ballpark, and the Braves, who would buy the Lynchburg Hillcats (High Class A; Carolina League) and relocate the team to Wilmington.
RELATED STORIES: “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.
Join Ballpark Digest on Facebook and on Twitter!
Follow Ballpark Digest on Google + and add us to your circles!