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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Baseball agreement update

Baseball agreement update

At their meeting on Sept. 18, City Council will consider an agreement with the Atlanta Braves/Mandalay that outlines terms for a 20-year collaboration to build and operate a minor league baseball facility in Wilmington. At their Aug. 7 meeting, Council approved putting a $37 million bond referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot for the cost of the stadium and land.

Following are highlights of the agreement Council will consider: 

  • A 6,200-seat ballpark to be located on at least 7 acres of downtown riverfront property that could also include a 1.5-acre city park
  • Total cost of $37 million, funded by a 2.5-cent property tax increase, which includes:
    • Ballpark construction costs not to exceed $31 million 
    • $6 million for land acquisition/remediation 
  • 20-year commitment by the Braves
  • Annual management fee/rent payments of $500,000 from the Braves/Mandalay for 20 years 
  • Target date for completion would be April 2014 or April 2015, depending on final design
  • Braves/Mandalay would be responsible for ballpark’s operating expenses and in exchange would receive all revenues 
  • Project contingent upon:
    • Passage of voter referendum
    • City acquiring the site and able to build the ballpark for $31 million
    • Team purchasing the minor league club in Lynchburg, Va., moving it here and being approved by Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball and the Carolina League
  • Another club, such as a university team, could use the ballpark as its home stadium if agreements can be reached

View the agreement Council will consider at their Sept. 18 meeting.

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