Baseball: not a two-sided issue in Wilmington anymore

The recently launched privatebaseball.com.
The recently launched privatebaseball.com.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - People for bringing baseball to Wilmington and against using tax-payer dollars to bring baseball to Wilmington have made their voices clear for some time now. But, now there's another viewpoint one group wants folks to consider - business owners.

The Privately Funded Baseball Alliance is for bringing baseball to the Port City but only if it is not funded with taxpayer dollars. The group recently launched a website and will hold a press conference Monday at 11 a.m. in front of city hall to gather support. Its goal is to get businesses to standup against using tax dollars for baseball.

Scott Harry, a local business owner, organized the group. He said he hopes to get other business people on board.

"We would love for the city to help the private investors bring to town," he said. "It would be great if the city would help with zoning, help with permits, help with inspections and fast track it."

Harry said he hopes to get other groups behind him. Right now, there is a group, Stop the Wilmington Tax-Funded Stadium, calling to not use any tax-payer dollars to bring baseball to the Port City. That group would support baseball only if it was privately funded. It has also circulated petitions against using tax-payer money on a stadium.

Harry said he has issue with the group that is conducting the study on the economic impact of bringing baseball to Wilmington. He said it could be a conflict of interest because he said that group has strong ties to those that would benefit from a stadium being built in the Port City.

"It's just not right or fair to take money from a person who earned it and give it to somebody else. That's the bottom line," he said.

He said the group does not have any plans to try to raise private funds. Its goal is to advocate that the city shouldn't pay for what the group says businesses should pay for.

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