Winston-Salem was told their ballpark would be family friendly and make lots of money….it does neither

The Winston-Salem Dash play minor league baseball in Truist Ballpark. Although the city owns the land and deed, the team gets to decide who uses the park and for what price. Every year, when the Dash are playing away games, players from an Amateur Baseball Association play a game in the ballpark. In exchange, the players would pay the team a reasonable amount in rent. Except this year. Why? Because the team wants to up the rent by 28.6 -percent. As the Winston-Salem Journal writes, this price hike means that any nearby college or high school teams won’t be able to afford playing at Truist Ballpark either. This price hike comes just a year after the team requested “an additional $5 million from the city for such things as a new locker room, taller outfield walls and an office for visiting managers”.

Asking for more money after all that they have gotten in the past? Keep in mind that the city gave the team $15.7 million in taxpayer money to build the ballpark. Then, when the construction company had money issues themselves, the city gave an additional $12 million in taxpayer money to help finish off the construction of the ballpark. All of this being given while the owner of the team was only giving $2 million of his own money for it.

Not to worry though, the city demanded transparency with this deal and the public was going to know the financial numbers of the ballpark and team…..except:

The aforementioned citizens review committee would indeed meet and go over the financials, but on the advice of City Attorney Angela Carmon, that meeting would be closed and the details would be sealed in a cocoon of propriety secrecy.

– Winston-Salem Journal, 10/15/2010

When the local newspaper tried to get their hands on these documents, the team refused to hand over any documents showing the teams expenses.

Since the team was getting so much money from the taxpayers, how did the team sell the public on giving money to build the ballpark?

But when the downtown ballpark … was first pitched, taxpayers were sold a vision of a publicly owned stadium that would feature family friendly events such as free movie nights, local high schools in state-of-the-art ballpark and possibly big-time college matchups or even, gasp, ACC Baseball Tournament games.

– Winston-Salem Journal, 03/09/2023

None of which has happened. Meanwhile, other ballparks in the area, who charge almost 1/4th of what the Dash charges, continue to make money by hosting local high school and college games.

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