Wilmington, NC

#1 Feb 12, 2012
What if city officials came to your door and said there was going to be an event and you were required to pay $100.00 whether you planned to attend or not? Even those planning on attending would not like being told this. The people not planning on attending would really be angry. There is no difference in this, and tax payer funded sports complexes. Everyone is required to pay whether you plan on using it or not. This has become standard operating procedure for Wilmington's City Government along with other governments all over this country.

Want to get people irate, then talk about welfare. What the city is proposing is worse than any welfare fraud you have ever heard about. Why, because this is corporate welfare. Multimillion/billion dollar corporations getting stadiums built by taxpayer funds, getting tax reductions or no taxes charged, incentives, etc. The majority of the people that will have to pay for this, will never attend a function at this complex. Why not require the people/corporations that want and will benefit from these projects pay for them without tax breaks and incentives? It is called a business plan, and if it doesn't make sense for private enterprise, then it doesn't make sense for a government (taxpayers) to fund.

The city officials in Wilmington are extremely near sighted. They just had to build the convention center, no matter what the cost or profitability. Other cities have one, Wilmington must have one also. Studies showed that many of these convention centers in other cities were not showing a profit. It was built anyway, and it is not coming close to breaking even. Fast forward to today, now the city wants to build a baseball stadium/complex that will compete against the convention center for events? Is the plan to make sure neither one ever becomes profitable?

Wilmington has baseball options for its citizens. We have youth baseball, UNCW baseball, and the Wilmington Sharks. All options that will not cost the taxpayers millions of extra dollars. Will another option hurt attendance for these teams? Will the Sharks be kicked to the curb for this new option?

Another consideration, if this is built, what will become of Legion Stadium? If my memory serves me correctly, a lot of money has been spent to upgrade this complex. What will become of this stadium? Will it become another shrine to the city government's zeal to waste money as it sits empty or vastly under utilized?

Look to Lynchburg, Va. to see why this is a bad idea. This is where the team resides that will be moved to Wilmington if this deal is completed. Their stadium will sit empty after this desertion, and if the Atlanta Braves will do it to Lynchburg, do not think they will hesitate for one second to do it to Wilmington when a better deal comes along. This is another reason public funds should never be used for private enterprise. Make these corporations have a vested, monetary interest in making these projects work. The way it works now is they are a bunch of freeloaders, waiting for someone offering more and better free stuff. When this happens, they skip out of town singing Willie Nelson's “On the Road Again”. This should be a consideration before forcing people to spend millions of dollars for something a lot of them will never see any benefit from.

Last consideration, will alcoholic beverages be served during ballgames? If they will be served, this will diminish the family atmosphere. If they are not served, this will reduce attendance. A double edged sword without an answer when the goal is maximum attendance.

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