After almost a year of negotiations and emotional debate, Wilmington’s 37-million dollar stadium referendum died last night. WHQR’s Sara Wood reports the referendum was defeated in every precinct in the City of Wilmington.
Seventy percent of voters within the City of Wilmington rejected the referendum. But both sides of the issue remained optimistic until the very end. Scott Harry with the Vote No Stadium Tax Committee says voters were heard loud and clear. And now he wants the New Hanover County Commissioners to hear their message, too.
“I do not believe this issue is going away tonight. I believe that either Mandalay or another company’s going to come back to town and try to spread the load, instead of just the city carrying the burden, they’re going to try to get the county or counties to bear the burden of this stadium. I think they need to get the message that if you want to come here and play ball, you’re welcome to, we’d love to have you, but you need to build your own facility, just like the rest of us.”
Wilmington’s city council entered into an agreement with Mandalay Sports and the Atlanta Braves in June to build a riverfront stadium and bring a minor league baseball team to Wilmington. The referendum would have increased property taxes for residents living within city limits.