Still Trying To Land A Team, Kinston Faces New Competition

The city of Kinston has its work cut out if it wants to land another minor league baseball team now that the city of Wilmington hopes to build a 35 to 40-million dollar stadium to land a team.

The Wilmington city council next week will discuss negotiating with the Atlanta Braves and Mandalay Baseball Properties to build that stadium.

Wilmington mayor Bill Saffo says a tax increase may be required to afford the facility.

So how would a minor league team in Wilmington impact efforts to land another team in Kinston after the Indians left for Zebulon?

Kinston Parks & Rec Director Bill Ellis says, “Cam McRae and the ownership group have worked very hard the last 2 or 3 months trying to get a team, the city council has looked to get a lease agreement signed with the stadium to keep a professional baseball image here-and we've done some college tournaments to use the stadium until we get a team.”

Ellis says some upgrading will be in order at the stadium to attract another team but feels a team in Wilmington would only help make Eastern Carolina a “mecca” for baseball.”


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  • by Charles Location: wilson on Feb 4, 2012 at 10:03 AM
    This comes from someone in the middle of both teams. I have been to both places many times. Mr. Bryant is not the bad guy its Mr Mcrae.He should have on until the next move could be made. Kinston is the only stadium in the league with no luxury boxes thats what they want now. No teams on the move no baseball in kinston for the foreseeable future
  • by Anonymous on Feb 2, 2012 at 01:10 PM
    The Indians moved because they were sold, not the ownership moving them. The old ownership did not move them. It was a complex deal invovlign the former owner of the Mudcats as well as the city of Tallahassee.
  • by dwight Location: Snow Hill on Feb 2, 2012 at 08:45 AM
    To: Here' the TRUTH just how many games did you attend? I went to games back the 60's with my daddy and we left windows down doors unlock we never anything happen. When I came home in 1990 from UASF I started back and had anything happen. Just stop making excause's for not going. Now I look back on the memories that have at Grainger Stadium and hope news soon be it C.L. (I Hope) or the C.P.L A.L
  • by Numbers Matter on Feb 2, 2012 at 08:13 AM
    And FYI - NC Department of Revenue statistics show that a resident of Kinston pays a combined property tax rate of $1.46 per hundred of valuation. A resident of Wilmington only pays $0.84 per hundred of valuation. Accordinly, the citizens of Kinston are taxed at a far higher rate that the citizens of Wilmington. Again, the good folks in Wilmington will decide if they want to pay more. Posters here should check their facts first prior to posting about attendance or taxes.
  • by Numbers Matter on Feb 2, 2012 at 07:51 AM
    To those saying attendance was strong: the official statistics show that the indians had by far the lowest attendance in the Carolina League for 2011, 112,181, or about 1,625 per home game, in a 4,100 capacity park. The next lowest was Lynchburg, and they drew almost 170,000. Winston-Salem drew 312,000. Those kind of numbers do not justify keeping a high class A team, particularly in an older park in a mediocre part of town. From a business perspective, moving to Five County Stadium appears to be the right thing to do. The best bet will be a summer wooden bat leage team. And the folks in Wilmington will either support a stadium or not. If they do, however, it will be new, and in a better location than Kinston. Numbers from baseball-reference.com.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Feb 2, 2012 at 01:08 PM in reply to Numbers Matter
      Of coarse they had the lowest, they were a lame duck team. What do the stats say about 2010 and 2009?
      • reply
        by Numbers Matterf on Feb 2, 2012 at 05:22 PM in reply to
        Again, far and away the lowest in 2010, 1,695 per game, 35,000 lower for the entire season than the next lowest. In 2009, a little better, just over 1,900 a game, but for the season 30,000 fewer than the next. It was a losing proposition for some time.
  • by Was an Indians Fan on Feb 2, 2012 at 06:01 AM
    I'm wondering how receptive the citizens of Wilmington are going to be about having their taxes increased. I have many friends who live there who have been complaining for quite some time about how high the city and county taxes already are there.
  • by Here's the TRUTH on Feb 2, 2012 at 05:25 AM
    Kinston has no chance unless they clean up that thug of a city. I mean, that's why the team left in the first place! Attendance was bad, people felt unsafe there in the parking lots after dark, and you have to duck while driving in order to not get shot. Bunch of no good thugs infesting every good city around here.
    • reply
      by Was an Indians Fan on Feb 2, 2012 at 06:00 AM in reply to Here's the TRUTH
      There is a big difference between opinion and fact. I was a regular attendee of Indians games and always took my spouse and children with me. Attendance was strong. The only complaint that I could make about the parking lots is that there needed to be more of them. Many nights I made it a point to come early enough to be able to find a parking place.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Feb 2, 2012 at 01:07 PM in reply to Here's the TRUTH
      Read the past articles before you make stupid comments. Cam McRae sold them so satisfy the other investors and is looking for another team. WHY WOULD HE BUY A SECOND TEAM if attendance was the problem?
  • by Larry Location: Kinston on Feb 2, 2012 at 04:07 AM
    What's that ol' saying...when h*ll freezes over? Kinston blew it's chance(s) of a team when they lost the Indians. You can't be serious to think you'll attract another team when the one you had left because of what was basically low fan support. I mean, who're you kidding?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Feb 2, 2012 at 05:03 AM in reply to Larry
      I don't know about low fan support. Evidently you did not go cause we went to every game and the stadium was full. I hope they do get another team there. It is a nice place and a good place to keep kids out of trouble.
    • reply
      by Was an Indians Fan on Feb 2, 2012 at 05:55 AM in reply to Larry
      Our State Magazine did a story on the Kinston Indians in the fall. One interesting fact was that the average attendance for the Indians was one of the highest in their league. They were sold because money talks and it was a good business deal for the owners.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Feb 2, 2012 at 01:06 PM in reply to Larry
      They left becasue Cam McRae sold them. There are mutiple articles that said he did that because the Indians had over 100 owners and he wanted to own a team on his own or fewer investors. Why would he be looking for a team if attendence was the problem?
  • by It's Over on Feb 1, 2012 at 09:43 PM
    Kinston is far passed the ability to attract a semi-pro ball team. Maybe a "bail & chain" team. LOL
  • by Sam Location: Kitty Hawk on Feb 1, 2012 at 08:43 PM
    Why does Wilmington need a team when they already have # 1 a Coastal Plains baseball team who draws out really good crowds, and # 2 a minor league baseball team just down the road across the state line in Myrtle Beach. They need to be glad with what they have. I have a good college friend who lives down there and he has mentioned that the taxes down there are too high as it is. Why increase the tax down there and try to take it away. I'm losing more and more respect for that city over the last few years.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Feb 2, 2012 at 01:04 PM in reply to Sam
      They had a real minor league team and lost it after only one year; the former Wilmington Waves!
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