Unless I’m mistaken, there was only one stadium-related ballot measure yesterday, and voters in Wilmington, North Carolina decisively rejected a proposal to spend $37 million on a facility to bring a single-A Atlanta Braves farm club to town. (The current Braves affiliates at that level are the Lynchburg Hillcats and the Rome Braves, but stadium developer Mandalay Baseball could always have moved a different team and re-affiliated it with the Braves instead of moving one of those.)
This is no surprise when you look at early polling, which showed the stadium plan to be overwhelmingly unpopular. And even less of a surprise considering the campaign spending on the ballot measure, which looks to have been about $113,000 on the pro side, and $32,432 on the con side. That’s well beneath the threshold of the 100-to-1 rule, which states that only referendums in which stadium boosters outspend opponents by more than a 100-to-1 margin (more or less) have a chance at passage. The public will can still beat big money in this country, at least until it’s BIG big money.