Voters will decide on bond referendum to pay for ballpark - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Voters will decide on bond referendum to pay for ballpark in Wilmington

After hearing from supporters and opponents of a proposal to bring baseball to Wilmington, city council members voted unanimously to put a $37 million bond referendum on the November ballot. After hearing from supporters and opponents of a proposal to bring baseball to Wilmington, city council members voted unanimously to put a $37 million bond referendum on the November ballot.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – After hearing from supporters and opponents of a proposal to bring baseball to Wilmington, city council members voted unanimously to put a $37 million bond referendum on the November ballot.

Supporters and opponents were equally represented at the meeting.

Supporters said a baseball stadium would be a good investment in Wilmington's future but opponents said the city shouldn't be spending taxpayer dollars on the project.

Those who are in favor of a stadium showed up at the meeting wearing Braves shirts and holding signs.

Ben McCoy, who led the petition process against public funding for the project, blasted council before its vote.

He told them that Mandalay goes around looking for "suckers" and "found seven of them on council".

Other than that, the discussion was pretty tame.

Council listened to different citizens for 50 minutes before voting unanimously to put this $37 million bond referendum on the ballot.

Now, Mandalay, the Atlanta Braves and the city will continue to negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines the details of the deal. The city released information late last week on some of the details the three sides have agreed upon in its negotiations. City staff told council that there are still a few points that require negotiation. However, they plan to have a finalized contract with the organizations by council's September 4 meeting.

Mandalay and the Braves released a statement on council's decision to move forward with putting this issue up for a vote, stating, "We continue to strongly believe that a Wilmington minor league ballpark combined with a quality Braves minor league team will create much needed jobs, economic growth and add to the quality of life in Wilmington."

Copyright 2012 WECT. All rights reserved

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