The process for funding a new Braves minor league stadium in Wilmington, North Carolina, passed its first big hurdle last night. The Star News has the story:
The Wilmington City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to start negotiations that could lead to the Port City getting an Atlanta Braves minor league team.
The council passed a memorandum of understanding with Mandalay Baseball Properties and the Atlanta National League Baseball Club that started Tuesday and ends July 31 with the option for it to be extended. The city will be looking at how much it would cost to build a stadium, potential locations and what the level of public support would be.
And yes, here is confirmation that the Braves would be bringing the team under their ownership, as speculated earlier on Talking Chop:
Braves and Mandalay officials are offering a 20-year lease guarantee as part of the agreement for the city to in turn build a stadium. The Braves and Mandalay would co-own the minor league team, which Braves officials say would be relocated from Lynchburg, Va.
While the process seems to have gone smoothly so far, there were signs of discontent outside the council meeting last night:
Protestors who carried signs in front of city hall and raised them during the meeting, have similar concerns.
Beau Derosa and Martin Goter sat outside city hall before the meeting holding signs that read "I call foul on corruption" and "Next election you are out."
Overall I support this strategy, but I do hope they decide on an original name for the team, and don't just call them the Wilmington Braves. The Wilmington Wahoos or the Wilmington Wombats would be so much better.