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Officials: Baseball stadium, but no bond referendum, planned for Brunswick County

The potential site for the stadium is a 1400-acre site along Highway 17 near Brunswick Forest.
The potential area for the stadium is a 1400 acre site along Highway 17 near Brunswick Forest.

The stadium would be built through a potential partnership between the Town of Leland, Brunswick County, and REV Entertainment.

At a press conference on Tuesday, officials said the stadium and surrounding development would be on a 1,400-acre site along Highway 17 next to Brunswick Forest.

The potential 3,500-seat stadium could cost around $50 million. Leland officials said exact numbers won’t be known until their economic impact study is finished in the next couple months.

The city and county would share revenue from the complex.

Brunswick Deputy County manager Haynes Brigman said they are no longer considering funding the complex through a bond — an idea that was batted around early in discussions about the potential stadium deal.

“We want to find a funding mechanism that doesn’t use existing tax dollars," he said.

Instead, the county would take on debt and pay it off with stadium revenue — if the economic impact study says that’s feasible.

REV Entertainment representative Sean Decker said that baseball is only part of the company's plan — they will match the investment into the stadium by building a full-service hotel and entertainment district surrounding the facility as well. He also said the stadium and ancillary areas could be used for corporate or town events in the off-season.

Residents at the meeting expressed concerns about the price tag, potential traffic, and changes to residential areas — although officials say this area will likely be developed anyway.

The site is currently owned by Jackeys Creek Investors, LLC, the developer of the project. Officials say the investors may donate land to the project, and are open to building a public school on the site as well — a need they said Brunswick County Schools has identified.

Officials said healthcare facilities could be built there as well.

The county said developers will work with NC DOT to prevent traffic delays from the project and may build a road connecting Highway 17 and state route 133 to improve traffic.

The stadium's team will likely be an independent team — not affiliated with major or minor leagues — but there is a possibility of a minor league team in the future as well, said Decker.

If the plans go forward, the stadium’s opening day would be planned for 2026.

Grace is a multimedia journalist recently graduated from American University. She's attracted to issues of inequity and her reporting has spanned racial disparities in healthcare, immigration detention and college culture. In the past, she's investigated ICE detainee deaths at the Investigative Reporting Workshop, worked on an award-winning investigative podcast, and produced student-led video stories.