Top Menu

Nasty ballpark fight emerging in Wilmington

Carolina LeagueExpect lots of outside money, as opponents and proponents of a publicly funded ballpark in Wilmington (N.C.) prepare to spend lots of money to sway voters to their side in the November elections.

We’ve already seen Americans for Prosperity, the right-wing anti-government advocacy group founded by the Koch brothers, spend $20,000 on an effort to derail the ballpark effort before it was approved by the City Council. That effort failed, as the council voted to put a $37-million bonding proposal before the public in the November elections. The proposal is still a work in process: the council has moved ahead with the assumption that $6 million would be spent on land and $31 million on the ballpark itself, but a lease between the city and Mandalay Baseball Properties, which would manage the ballpark on behalf of the city and a High Class A Carolina League team owned by the Atlanta Braves, has not yet been finalized.

Despite the lack of agreement, Mandalay’s Rich Neumann says his firm will spend $150,000 in a public-relations effort to persuade voters to support the measure, and another group pushing the ballpark is expecting to lobby voters as well. On the other side, you can expect the Big Talker to continue its opposition to the measure, bolstered by a poll from the conservative Civitas Institute indicating 80 percent of Wilmington taxpayers opposing public funding of a ballpark

RELATED STORIES: No lease, but ballpark funding will go before votersWilmington, Mandalay delay ballpark decisionOutline of Wilmington ballpark deal emerges: $37M, 5,500 seatsNegotiations fail to yield agreement on Wilmington ballparkWilmington ballpark to go before voters this fallNew Wilmington ballpark: uncertainty reignsWilmington officials: Proposed ballpark lease won’t happenWilmington to ask voters to approve new-ballpark bondingNSS: New ballpark would generate $172 million in new spendingThird time’s the charm: petition opposing Wilmington ballpark funding succeedsMore signatures tossed in Wilmington anti-ballpark petition drive;Opponents of Wilmington ballpark fail in petition driveNo ballpark money in upcoming Wilmington budget“Free” land not so free in WilmingtonReferendum on horizon for new Wilmington ballparkWilmington ballpark sites down to three; poll indicates supportMayor slams Wilmington ballpark financing proposalPreferred site emerging for Wilmington ballpark?Mandalay, Braves to update Wilmington on ballparkFive potential ballpark sites under discussion in WilmingtonThe race is on: NSS given marching orders in WilmingtonWilmington bypasses Ripken Design as ballpark project manager; NSS is hiredRipken Design chosen to oversee Wilmington ballpark planning; controversy ensuesMandalay, Braves to pursue private financing for new Wilmington ballparkBusiness leaders to push for new Wilmington ballparkWhat should Wilmington expect for new-ballpark attendance?Poll: Wilmington residents overwhelmingly oppose public financing of new ballparkProposed Wilmington lease: Mandalay would pay 12 percent of debt serviceAtlanta Braves have tentative deal to buy Lynchburg HillcatsNew Wilmington ballpark would be part of hotel, marina complexWilmington to move forward with ballpark talksWilmington to discuss new Braves ballpark tomorrow nightWilmington looks at development deal with Mandalay, BravesWilmington ballpark dead on arrival?Another new effort for Wilmington minor-league baseball?


Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at

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!

, , , , , , , ,