Though both sides had agreed to the terms, a lease for a new Wilmington (N.C.) ballpark with Mandalay Baseball Properties and the Atlanta Braves was officially approved by the City Council.
As you’ll recall, the three announced last Friday that all sides had agreed to a lease that called for a Braves-owned Wilmington team to play at a new $37-million ballpark for 20 years, with an annual rent of $500,000. That’s the deal approved last night by the City Council. It was pretty much a formality, passing by a 6-1 vote.
The Braves have an option to buy the Lynchburg Hillcats (High Class A; Carolina League), which would then be moved to Wilmington.
The issue now: whether voters approve to raise their property taxes to pay for the ballpark. A referendum question is on the November ballot. Whether it passes remains to be seen; we’ve heard about some polling on both sides indicating that the bonding referendum, if held today, would not pass.
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