With the purpose of getting all of their minor league teams into high quality facilities, the Atlanta Braves are attempting to move their High-A team in Lynchburg, Va., to Wilmington, N.C., ajc.com reports.
The Wilmington City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to begin negotiations with the Braves and Mandalay Baseball Properties. They will also look into the level of public support and cost and funding options for a new park that would seat approximately 6,000 and cost around $35 million.
Frank Wren, Bobby Cox and Braves executive vice president of business operations Mike Plant attended a county council meeting in Wilmington, which contained supporters in Braves apparel inside and picketing protesters – who were against public funding of the ballpark – outside.
The ballpark would be built and owned by Wilmington, while the Braves and Mandalay have entered into a purchase agreement to co-own the team. The Braves and Mandalay have offered at least a 20-year lease on the ballpark.
The Braves own all of their minor league teams except Lynchburg, which is independently owned. Lynchburg was one one of the only options available for the Braves after they lost the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to the Texas Rangers when Pelicans owner Chuck Greenberg joined Nolan Ryan in his purchase of the American League champions.
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