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Charlotte On Twins: 'Not Here Either'
Two-Thirds Polled In North Carolina's Largest City Say 'No Taxes For Baseball Stadium'

CHARLOTTE, Posted 6:12 a.m. May 07, 1998 -- Nearly two-thirds of those polled in the region around North Carolina's next most likely home for a major league team say they don't want their taxes used to build a baseball stadium. A telephone poll of residents in Mecklenburg and six neighboring counties taken Wednesday, the day after Triad voters rejected a plan to raise $140 million for a new ballpark, found no increase in support since a similar survey in December.

If given the choice today, 64 percent in the seven counties said they would oppose using public money for a baseball stadium, according to the survey conducted for The Charlotte Observer and WCNC-TV. In Mecklenburg County, 61 percent said they were against the idea.

In a December poll, six of 10 Mecklenburg residents said they'd vote against using tax money for a ballpark.

The poll's margin of error was 4.5 percentage points.

Voters in Guilford and Forsyth counties on Tuesday slammed the door on any hope of bringing pro baseball to their region by rejecting a plan to raise taxes to help build for a $210 million ballpark.

The Triad stadium was to be built only if Hickory businessman Don Beaver completed plans to buy and move the Minnesota Twins.

Baseball proponents in Charlotte have waited for 18 months while the campaign for a tax-supported stadium in the Triad was being waged in Greensboro and Winston-Salem.

Last November, Charlotte business and civic leaders were discussing the feasibility of building a $200 million ballpark in downtown Charlotte.

On May 18, the Charlotte Regional Baseball Partnership will be briefed on a feasibility study for a downtown stadium by sports marketing consultant Max Muhleman, who has helped lure pro basketball and football franchises to Charlotte.

Beaver, meanwhile, says he is not committed to the two-thirds public, one-third private split proposed for the Greensboro-area ballpark.

"Toss out everything in the Triad," Beaver said. "It's a whole new game down here."