City, county leaders meet with Wilmington Sharks to discuss stadium renovations

Updated: Feb. 18, 2020 at 11:58 AM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Legion Stadium Commission met with representatives with the Wilmington Sharks baseball team Tuesday morning to discuss renovations to Buck Hardee Field.

“For us, it’s truly critical that we’re able to develop a plan with the city and the county to renovate because we’ve really outgrown the existing facility and we have a lot of growth left and we want to see that facility grow with us," said Matt Perry, one of the owners and president of the Wilmington Sharks.

Leaders with New Hanover County, the NHC school board, and Wilmington City Council discussed funding options to expand the field at Legion Stadium, located on Carolina Beach Road. Some of the renovations would include a new entrance, fencing, more seating, and a new press box. Expanding the stadium also gives Wilmington an opportunity to attract other sporting events that would ultimately boost the economy.

The Sharks representatives presented leaders with several options for renovation costs, but it will be around $2 million. But the deciding factors come down to more than just money.

“You also have Title IX issues now trying to make the goal is to have women’s or female facilities, be on par with male facilities. So that’s another piece of the puzzle that’s hard to do," said ·Neil Anderson, of Wilmington city council & Chair of Legion Stadium Committee.

“We’d all like to see something happen." said Perry. "Question is going to be, how do we go about the process and how does it benefit the city and county the users of the facility in the best way?”

No decisions were made at Tuesday’s meeting. There are a lot of factors that come into play including Title IX, county money, and city money.

Sharks representatives, along with city and county staff, plan to meet to discuss priorities of stakeholders. No word on when that meeting will take place.

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