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FIRST ON 3: New Hanover County talking to Ripken about building private stadium, no official negotiations

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A spokesman for a local group that’s against a tax-funded baseball stadium in Wilmington tells WWAY New Hanover County is talking with Cal Ripken about building a stadium and mall with private money.

New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet said an organization approached the county in the last few weeks about an idea. Coudriet would not identify the group. He said the county is not involved in any negotiations with the organization.

Currently Mandalay Baseball Properties is negotiating with the City of Wilmington to build a tax-funded stadium downtown for an estimated $37 million. Voters will get to decide whether to approve that bond during the election this November. That stadium would likely be built on the north end of Downtown Wilmington.

Wilmington had considered hiring Ripken’s firm Ripken Design to do a study on the feasibility of building a ballpark in the Port City. City Council decided against that plan after Mandalay objected because it said Ripken Design, like Mandalay, is in the business of managing minor league teams and stadiums.

Marcy Cuevas is working on this story. She will have more later today here online and on WWAY NewsChannel 3 at 5 and 6 p.m.

More: continued here

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