MTYT: Bringing baseball to Wilmington - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

MTYT: Bringing baseball to Wilmington

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Several folks at the City Council meeting were wearing "If You Build it, They Will Come" t-shirts. Several folks at the City Council meeting were wearing "If You Build it, They Will Come" t-shirts.

I know everyone doesn't agree on building a minor league ballpark in Wilmington. But I really like the idea.

I think the City of Wilmington needs to do whatever it takes to get this project done and get a team in here while the Atlanta Braves are ready to play ball with us.

For a city this size, and with our other amenities, a community attraction like this would be a significant investment for the future. I applaud the Mayor's Office and City Council for thinking big on this and even openly discussing the potential of a tax increase to get it done.

Yes, that would affect everyone. And no, not everyone here is going to go watch baseball games.

But there are countless examples across the country of baseball stadiums being used as open community gathering spaces. That stadium wouldn't be just for baseball. It would make a great venue for outdoor concerts. Some ballparks have family movie nights on a jumbo big-screen. And stadiums make great places for fairs, festivals and outdoor expos.

I love going to baseball games. But I'd love it even more to be sitting in a ballpark in Wilmington enjoying Bob Dylan on one of his minor league ballpark concert tours.

I sure hope we don't strike out with this opportunity.

That's my turn. Now it's your turn. Do you want to swing for the fences….or bunt? Let me know. Email me at yourturn@wect.com.


Emailed comments from viewers:

Have taxpayers pay for a ballpark, really?  Here's a thought; why don't ONLY the advocates for the park pay for it?  That's right; you who want it, can pay for it.  Like that idea?  No, I didn't think so.  Let somebody else pay for it.  That way, you can simply enjoy it.  Hey, why don't we get the taxpayers to pay for your power bill and groceries, too?

Have you heard anything about a nationwide recession?  Maybe not, you apparently have a job. 

The Mayor's office, yes, the one you were praising, indicated they are looking at superstructure problems such as traffic congestion.  Supposedly, this issue wasn't related to the new ball park.  It might be time for our city/county leaders to wake up.  The city and county have traffic problems so they'll raise taxes to pay for a project that will cause for more traffic congestion.  And the traffic issue isn't the only problem.  It might be time to replace the city/county leaders that are asleep and elect some frugal people.

Oh wait; we'll have other activities there.  That's a great idea.  Of course, the taxpayers will have to pay for the upkeep on the ballpark for those other activities.  Don't even think about lying to telling us those activities will pay for themselves.  Yeah, that always happens.

Maybe the select few should stop spending other peoples money.

I'd recommend that you "buy a clue," but I'm sure you'd want the taxpayers to provide it to you.  Well, re-read this email; I just gave you one for free.

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A ballpark is a fun place to. Gather the kids and take off. Not only is there a ball game but there are activities for the entire family. This town needs something besides the beach, bars and lawyers. What an opportunity for the city and county to come together. I know one thing, if this was a team from the  Yankee organization the stadium would have already been built, with or without taxpayers money. Build the stadium and let's stop living in the dark ages.

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The baseball stadium is a terrible idea! I love baseball, too, but do not want my taxes used to pay for this. If it's such a great idea, then it should be funded by private investors. Where is Wilmington going to be in 10 years when the Braves move on to another community that's offering better incentives?

We already have a rich baseball environment in Wilmington—local high schools have great talent and we have the Sharks. We do NOT need to invest in this! It's ridiculous!

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sewers in deplorable shape  and you want  to build baseball stadium????---good  thing  you are not  mayor---where  are the  priorities???

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I'll be the first to admit, many time I don't agree with your MTYT segments. Which is perfectly, fine, everyone has a differing opinion on differing subject. However I don't think I could agree with you more on tonight's segment!

The city and county both need to work together to make this happen. Having this stadium would be a great boon to both the economy and will elevate the quality of life for everyone. Yes, while most people are fighting the stadium based on the word "tax", the fact remains; some sort of public funding will be used. 

Hopefully the county will see this and come back to the baseball discussions, as spreading the cost across the county will be less of a burden on the city and honestly it's just the fair thing to do as the county will be gaining incoming from the stadium.

Great job on MTYT tonight and hopefully this will all work out! There's a long road ahead.

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Putting a stadium in the down town area is crazy! Have you ever tried to get out of downtown Wilmington after the fireworks on the 4th of July? It can take hours. They have tried minor league ball here twice and it didn't work. Put it to the people to vote on.

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I agree that baseball in Wilmington is a great thing if done properly.  Being a farm team owned by the Atlanta Braves is a huge asset to the project.  Mandalay Baseball's involvement further benefits the situation and offers insight toward the fact that this will not be allowed to go down as another failure.  

Having worked in professional baseball myself for the past 8 years, I can tell you numerous examples of the benefits a team here will provide.  A lot of the concerned citizens are uninformed/under informed about things beyond the $$$.

I wonder if the concern would lessen if people were told that taxes would only need to cover HALF of the $42 million cost?  Is there a middle ground to appease the detractors?

Please continue to write about this topic.  It is essential that it is promoted in the public view for both positive and negative feedback.  If it is going to be approved or turned down, it should be in the opinion of the majority and not just 7 members of city counsel. (not a knock on them) :)

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There is a lot of talk these days about a ball team coming to Wilmington and I am for that happening, however; I was not pleased with the convention center that was built.  What a waste of money!  What we need is an arena where we could have concerts of all kinds.  It would generate much more money than the convention center and it would be a great draw for this area.  I think if Duplin county can have a place to have concerts and I am talking big name people, we should be able to get great talent here and keep the ticket prices down so more people could afford to go.  The tickets for Scottie McCreary to come here are more expensive than the tickets to see the Oak Ridge Boys in concert at the Alabama Theater in Myrtle Beach.  That is a sad thing that we think we should charge such exorbitant prices when the economy is in such a bad state.  The people in office are not thinking of real money makers.  That is my turn, now it is your turn.

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If this is such a great idea there would be no problem finding private investors to pay for this, unfortunately they seem to be completely absent. Maybe it's because they realize that previous minor league teams in Wilmington only lasted one or two seasons due to lack of attendance. As far as using it for a community gathering place; the battleship shows family movies, we already have a fairground, Legion stadium would be a great place for outdoor concerts and the convention center that we already paid for would be (in my opinion) the ideal place to hold expos.

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This comment is related to your recent stamp of approval of the baseball stadium issue. As an 85 year old devotee of the sport , I heartily approve such a venue. I thought your statements concerning  other uses for such a field were excellent and needed to be added to rhe mix. However, considering the demographics and geography fo this unique area ,we need to include county fundung as well.

I really enjoy your commentaries;they reflect thoughful consideration  of issues

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Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple pie and Chevrolet is what the old commercial use to say. It's all American. Anyone who would not like to bring Baseball to Wilmington, I just can't relate to this kind thinking. Negativity only breeds Hostility. It would be great to go cheer for the local team and give Wilmingtonians unity. Only Positive things can come from this. 

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     I don't think the tax payers building a ballpark is a good idea.  It's not fair to the people who would never use the facility.  Why should they have to pay for something they will never use.  It's also not fair for the business owners to have their taxes go up so they could have someone else to compete against for business.  Baseball doesn't produce the numbers like it used to.  It's a pretty boring sport to watch.  Wilmington already has enough things they need to fix and take care of so why pile more onto it?  Wilmington has already proven they cant take care of their roads, tons of potholes, and they cant take care of their water pipes, pipes breaking and affecting all of Wilmington, plus downtown is already torn up enough, just look at third street right now.  I think they should repair and take care of and pay for what they have before they make another bad decision.  You talked about all the amenities that Wilmington has but I can think of one thing Wilmington doesn't have that would make a ton of money whether they were good or not.  UNCW getting a football team.  You already have a number of college students that would go to the games, plus boosters from Alumni, and the Wilmington residents that would support that venture.  They already have rivals with ECU that would bring tons of support and if they could schedule a few ACC teams every once in a while it would pay for itself plus.  I dont know why Wilmington and UNCW doesn't enter into an agreement for UNCW to use Legion Stadium and give it a try.  I know neither entity minds spending money whether it makes any or not but I believe that would be a real investment into the future for both parties!

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If you want the stadium invest your own money and build it yourself.  Leave ss taxpayers off the hook.  This is crony capitalism and you just want the taxpayers to foot the bill for your entertainment!

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I enjoy MTYT and there are times I agree with you and other times I totally disagree with you.  I am not against building a baseball stadium, but I am against anymore tax increases to pay for it.  You mentioned in your piece that "Yes, that would affect everyone" when talking about a tax increase.  That's not true, it will only affect property owners and speaking for myself I can't take any more tax increases!!!!  I feel it's not fair that just property owners will have to pay for the building of this stadium.  If it was a sales tax or paid via ticket costs, then it would be a fair way to spread the cost, but not on the backs of the dwindling number of property owners in Wilmington and New Hanover County.  Why not do an investigative story on numerous Cities/Counties that have had to build a stadium and what ended up being the real cost to the tax payers.  I see you only reported on the one success story out of Dayton Ohio.  Does that mean the rest of the stadiums built were a tax burden and nightmare to the tax payers?  Let's see some nonbiased reporting on this important "debt" that will be passed onto the property owners of the City of Wilmington.

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You my friend are not thinking about the other 30 minor baseball stadiums around in the U.S., where twenty-seven have had no significant positive economic revenue to attribute to their city, and the other three have had a negative impact. We, the tax payers of wilmington would ultimately front the bill for such an extravagant undertaking. WE DO NOT want another tax burden placed upon us. And sir, when you address the public about a proposed baseball team coming to the port city please don't insinuate that it's the Atlanta Braves that want to come play ball here. That is NOT the case. You don't speak of all the facts and your opinion is biased. It is your opinion, but don't lie to the public that has given you a voice in the first place.

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