BY: MATTHEW PRESLAR
Ballpark Adventures returns to the action this weekend. We are heading to BB&T BallPark in Winston Salem, NC. While originally not on our 2018 wish list, we discovered the Winston Salem area is much closer to home than we thought. The Winston Salem Dash is the Advanced A (Carolina League) affiliate of the White Sox. Before a trip like this, we do some research to be prepared and raise our anticipation.
We found some interesting facts about the team and stadium during our research. The team is managed by 11 time Gold Glove winner Omar Vizquel. He was, perhaps, the best glove man of our lifetime and the defensive centerpiece of the great Cleveland Indians teams in the mid to late 90’s. We are sitting beside the home dugout for two games and I really hope for a quick picture of/with this baseball legend.
We also discovered the struggle getting this stadium completed in 2009. So it appears, the project was nearly completed on schedule. Then, however, finances ran a little shy of seeing the stadium to fruition.
“When the city government felt that it had to step in with $12.7 million to ensure the completion of the construction — pushing the total price to get the park completed (according to several publications) to over $48 million — local residents positively howled with outrage, especially since so many of them drove right past the almost-completed structure on a major thoroughfare every day. And the area pegged for redevelopment still had the same abandoned, boarded up houses right across the street from the unfinished stadium.”
Winston Stadium stepped in help finish the project. The stadium opened a year later than projected. It scored well enough to be 2010 BASEBALLPARKS.COM Ballpark of the Year. Much like many more modern parks, the baseball stadium is supposed to be the centerpiece of major development.
Hopefully BB&T Ballpark and the surrounding community, in its ninth season, will be near completion as we take in the area this weekend, May 11 & 12. I cant wait to see their finished presentation.