The last couple of years have been filled with change for the Winston-Salem Dash. The first being their name-change from the Winston-Salem Warthogs to the Dash and the second being the announcement of their new stadium. The new name and logo was an exciting time for the team and the community. Late last year, the Mayor, Allen Joines, team owner Billy Prim and President Kevin Terry were three of the many in attendance on that day to make the announcement. “This was an exciting process, but nothing compares to actually making the announcement and introducing our name,” said Terry. “We reviewed logos for all of the finalists, looked at any conflicts with other team names and evaluated the suggestions and reasoning from the community. At the end of the day, Dash is a name that is associated with the community – it brings Winston-Salem together – the logo is unique, compelling and provides a lot of opportunity for integration in our game entertainment and fan participation.”
The Dash have also announced plans for a new stadium and were hoping to have a new home for the 2010 season. The plan for the 2009 season was to play the majority of their home games at the Wake Forest Baseball Park and play of portion of the season at the new park. Plans have changed, with the team playing their remaining schedule at Wake Forest and will begin next year at their new home. According to MSNBC, in a letter by team President Terry, the team has made the necessary decision to not try and play games at the new stadium in 2009. “We have continued to hope and work towards opening the ballpark this season, but feel at this point that the best interest of our fans and the project for this year beyond will be served by focusing on opening the new park in 2010 and providing the best family entertainment option we can at Wake Forest this year,” said Dash Owner Billy Prim. Fans that have purchased ticket packages for the new ballpark will not have to repay for them. Instead, the Dash have created a seven-game package with prices as low as $56 for fans attending games at the Wake Forest. In addition, season tickets holders will have the option of taking advantage of the above-mentioned promotion and will not lose their place on the teams’ priority list for the new park.
Financially, the city of Winston-Salem has spent nearly $12 million in taxpayers money to help pay for the stadium that will seat 5,500 and when all is said and done, will cost a total of $38 million. In a recent article in the Winston-Salem Journal, it notes that city officials have borrowed approximately $5.5 million of that $12 million, in turn costing the taxpayers an additional $3.1 million in interest at the back end of the 20-year loan. The team’s contract with the city states that the stadium must be completed by March of 2010.
Devon Teeple is an author for the Business of Sports Network, which includes the Biz of Baseball, the Biz of Football, the Biz of Basketball and the Biz of Hockey. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Devon is a former student within Sports Management Worldwide’s Baseball General Manager Class. Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective and is a intern with The Football Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels.