Talks between Wilmington (N.C.) officials and Mandalay Baseball Properties on a lease for a proposed downtown ballpark have failed to result in a lease agreement, but negotiations will continue.
The two sides are discussing a deal for a new ballpark for the relocating Lynchburg Hillcats (High Class A; Carolina League), with the team owned by the Atlanta Braves and the ballpark leased and managed by Mandalay Baseball Properties. If approved by voters, the ballpark could open in time for the 2014 season.
But before that happens, the two sides must reach agreement on a lease. National Sports Services laid out the basics of an agreement in terms of facility size and budget — some $42 million for the project — but Wilmington officials want to spend less than that. Also, we’re guessing Wilmington wants to see Mandalay put up some money on the front end to decrease the amount of borrowing, as well. In an interview with the StarNews, Councilman Kevin O’Grady didn’t sound too optimistic about the way things were going:
‘We’ve got a lot of work to do to get there,” he said.
Talks will continue next week; the ultimate deadline is Aug. 7, when the specific language of the fall referendum needs to be finalized.
RELATED STORIES: Wilmington ballpark to go before voters this fall; New Wilmington ballpark: uncertainty reigns; Wilmington officials: Proposed ballpark lease won’t happen; Wilmington to ask voters to approve new-ballpark bonding; NSS: New ballpark would generate $172 million in new spending; Third time’s the charm: petition opposing Wilmington ballpark funding succeeds; More signatures tossed in Wilmington anti-ballpark petition drive;Opponents of Wilmington ballpark fail in petition drive; No ballpark money in upcoming Wilmington budget; “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.