The State of North Carolina has already funded the I-140 extension from US 421 north of Wilmington, across the river connecting to Hwy 74-76 in Brunswick County. The Department of Transportation is projected to begin building this potion of highway by the end of 2009.
With the economy the way it is we are all learning a valuable lesson regarding how we spend our money and how we protect our assets. This industrial property, the proposed ballpark sits on, is truly an asset to the region. The nearly 200 acres is situated just south of the exit off of I-140 and is situated on a rail track which leads into downtown Wilmington. The proposed use of this property will not only create approximately 1,000 jobs, but upon completion will potentially bring in tens of thousands of out of town visitors that will need lodging, fuel, food and retail shopping. It is projected that the local sales tax generated from the concessions of just 70 ballgames would be nearly $400,000 annually into Navassa and Brunswick County’s general fund. We’re talking about just the sales tax on hotdogs and peanuts. If we were to factor in the projected appreciated value of the surrounding property, the new housing, the creation of jobs, percentage of ticket sales, tourism dollars and the incentive for others to invest in commercial enterprises nearby in support of this regional amenity, that upon the completion of this park, at least a hundred million dollars in revenue will be introduced into the local economy.
Spending money on amenities such as this is an investment in the future. Stimulus money, talked about by the federal government’s top economists, is seed money to be planted into the community so that as the seed sprouts it will multiply and begin to reproduce on it’s own. Self sustaining, generating revenue, creating jobs, and protecting valuable assets from the storms that lay ahead.
Minor league baseball has been one of this country’s more successful enterprises. It has anchored and facilitated more than 200 communities across the nation with holsum entertainment and by providing an amenity service for the local merchants, neighborhoods, hotels and restaurants.
There is so much more this property can offer to the region. Lincoln Park provides a needed amenity to those families considering locating nearby. With so many successful neighborhoods established in the past 7-10 years and the newly planned ambitious communities in the northern part of New Hanover County and the east side of Brunswick there is already a lot of money invested in Lincoln Park’s success not to fill these seats.
We hope you will join with us as we work to bring this about. This ballpark is our field of dreams, if we can just get it built, they will come and when they come, we will be ready.