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Baseball stadium deal still in progress; announcement to come Monday

WilmingtonCity officials are still working on the details of a final agreement with Mandalay and the Atlanta Braves on building a minor league baseball stadium at the riverfront. 

As WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn reports, city officials plan to make an announcement Monday about the status of the talks. 

A final agreement has not been reached – and negotiations are still in progress.   That’s the official word from City of Wilmington spokeswoman Malissa Talbert. 

Draft documents put the cost at $37 million -- $31 million for construction of the stadium and $6 million for land purchase. 

At a meeting on Tuesday, city council will hear what members of the public think about issuing a general obligation bond to pay for a baseball stadium.   After the public hearing, council will vote on whether to put the bond on the November ballot. 

The bond would be paid back through a two-and-a-half cent property tax increase.  On real estate worth $200,000, the increase would amount to $50 dollars a year. 

The land purchase price would eventually be re-paid to the city, according to the draft agreement, through rent and management fees from The Braves and Mandalay. 

The whole project would take between two and three years to complete -- depending on the design. 

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.