The Wilmington Sharks are selling naming rights to Legion Stadium, while maintaining the existing name, in order to pay for renovations to Buck Hardee Field. They are doing so to help pay for up to 43 percent of improvements to the the field, and to create a site that could bring a minor-league baseball team to Wilmington.
Matt Perry of Nationals Sports Services, the ownership group of the Sharks, presented the Legion Stadium Commission with a proposal to renovate Buck Hardee Field. On the Sharks’ wishlist and blueprint is expansion to add a permanent office area, beer garden, two-level picnic deck, a video board in center field, suites on the first-base line, additional seating, and other amenities.
Members of the Legion Stadium Commission will ultimately have to sway the city or county to fund their portions of any improvements. If the city, county, and surrounding schools commit to help the Sharks pay for the improvements, the Sharks are willing to increase their annual lease at the stadium from $16,000 to $125,000. They plan to receive additional revenue from these improvements and by selling naming rights to the stadium. The Sharks anticipate a 20-year funding plan with 5.5 percent interest would achieve the desired improvements, totaling an annual cost of $288,840 if all renovations are made. The total cost of full renovation would rise to $5.78 million over 20 years.
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