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Winston-Salem's Tallest Buildings and Skyscrapers
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 Post subject: Re: Winston-Salem Dash
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2022 10:23 am 
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Posts: 36
Fourth and Main wrote:
The City has hired Walter Robbs to complete the renovations. No one is discussing the required improvements? Improvements include adding private locker rooms for female coaches, staff, and umpires; laundry, equipment, and commissary upgrades to the home team clubhouse; a larger visiting team clubhouse with upgrades to the commissary, shower & toilet facilities, training room, coaches' locker room, and a separate office for the visiting manager; changes to the bullpen mounds; changes to the wall height in the right field corner (will this impact the design and the view from Salem Parkway?); improved field drainage; a lighting review; and adding a second enclosed hitting/pitching tunnel. Since the team's office space, at Second & Brookstown (across the street from the ballpark), will be demolished for a new apartment building, the team is requesting office space to be constructed at the ballpark. The team will pay for the office space. The other improvements will be paid for using $5 million in limited obligation bonds. It will be interesting to see if the team office space is constructed in that pit where the team office, ticket windows, and team store were originally planned before that part of the plan was cancelled for a never-built office building. That pit is ugly and has rusted steel inside it. It needs to be filled-in with something? With all of those planned improvements and the need for that team office, that pit is a good place to build some of that. I would like to see the ticket windows and team store also completed there, with the office. At least merge the ticketing with the office space. As long as a trailer is used for the ticket window and that pit is there, the ballpark isn't really finished.


Those are some chunky upgrades.

Using the Pit for the office as planned long ago makes the most sense. It's a solid location for everything you mentioned, and it also helps them accomplish the bolded above. They can basically just take the whole first base side and expand internal space.

The additional enclosed batting/pitching space I suppose could go in there as well, but I'm assuming that the idea is trying to get it closer to the away dugout.

The additional visitor space is the thing that I'm really trying to work out in my head and I'm not really able to see how it all fits?


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 Post subject: Re: Winston-Salem Dash
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2022 12:02 am 
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Add to that an outfield restroom. The Dash want an outfield restroom and have agreed to pay for it. It's not required by Major League Baseball.

I'm sure many have questioned why we don't see more commercial/for-profit events at the ballpark. They spoke of other events at the ballpark, years ago, when trying to get the City to help pay for it. The answer: The Dash are in charge of renting the ballpark and not the City. It would help downtown and the City to have more big events there, but the Dash don't have much to gain from renting it and don't really want others using their ballpark. So, they charge exorbitant rental rates for the ballpark. It appears as if the City may use this office space and restroom request to push back and require the Dash to charge competitive rates for others to use the ballpark.

Seeing how poorly the Dash and City get-along, I almost think it would've been worth it to tell the Dash to leave and convert Truist Stadium to an upscale 10,000-seat amphitheatre for big concerts or bring an Atlantic League team to the ballpark (a team similar to the Rockers) that may not require as many expensive upgrades and may have cheaper tickets? The average person/family doesn't really notice what league/level their local minor league team is at. They are just looking for affordable family entertainment or a fun group activity for their office or a fun beer and baseball night. We notice, but I'm guessing the average family doesn't. Before the pandemic, the ballpark was usually packed on the weekends and had small but good weeknight crowds, with almost no one during weekday day games. Now, the ballpark does seem to have very low attendance most of the time. I don't know if we should be concerned or not? It is a good reason to push for more events at the ballpark.

I can remember seeing how the Chicago Cubs expanded their facilities. They actually "temporarily" removed the seating in the off-season and dug into the ground below those seats to create more space. I'm concerned the City and Dash may try to remove the interesting bridge (bridge above the cross-bracing) with a view of the field from the highway. That would destroy part of the ballpark's interesting architecture. Maybe it's possible to dig into the ground on the visitor's side, where the lower section is below grade, and create more room? I'm guessing they can build to the street? The ballpark is separated from the street on that side by grass. I'm guessing there is nothing under the walkway or grass?


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 Post subject: Re: Winston-Salem Dash
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2022 10:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 9:32 am
Posts: 36
Interesting point on the bathroom, feel like they’d like to have one in deep left field back behind the bar area but that would be taking up green space.

Was there any insight on how the renting out the suites to work in them during the pandemic went? I remember being happily surprised that they were getting creative with the usage of the space finally after years of doing absolutely nothing.

It’s always kinda surprised me that they haven’t used it for more stuff as it’s Rhino’s/Legends staffing for 99% of the stuff there and the actual dash employees that would be on-site for other events would be incredibly minimal.

The entertainment part is key. The Dash’s competition isn’t with the Rockers, Grasshoppers, or any other minor league team in the area, it’s with A/perture, The Ramkat, basically every bar and every family entertainment option. The amount of people that actually care about the baseball is minimal, it’s just cheap entertainment and a change of pace for a lot of people. Every now and again interest will spike when a “local” prospect gets placed there: Rondon, Sheets, or a name comes down for a rehab start, but those are few and far between.

I might be burnt out on their games due to my proximity for a while so I might subconsciously be avoiding their marketing, but as somebody who lives downtown and would seem to be in their core market, I see absolutely 0 marketing, brand integration throughout downtown, or just general “hey did you know we exist?!” Again, I might just be burnt out, and I don’t have a family, but I can think of a lot more fun ways to spend a night then at the ballpark especially as there are more and more options downtown, but that’s just me.

The one thing that I constantly bitch about is the lack of a live music scene and the inability to get bands and holy shit would I be BEYOND IN on converting it to an amphitheater. Just as a quick point of reference, PNC and Walnut Creek both hold ~20k, and Charlotte Metro holds ~5k. With the amount of space that they have, they could easily do a ~5k amphitheater and have an indoor venue as well, kinda looking towards Charlotte Metros concept. If we’re actually going off on a hypothetical where Winston gets good music again and all the players buy in, I’d love to see ~5k amphitheater as that can land fairly large acts during the spring-fall, you could probably get some cool mixed use stuff with RiverRun in the Spring, then you have the Joel and Groves as the “bigger” draws holding more people for the bigger acts. Ramkat gets their booking shit together and starts pulling smaller acts to flush out the scene and make “the city of arts and innovation” have a vibrant music scene once again.

Anyways, back to the Dash. That’s a good reference point. Them digging up/ going under the third base side makes a lot of sense and the only thing that would be feasibly possible I’m assuming.

The way that I see the dash expanding on the first base line if they do utilize the pit I think would take out the view through the batting cage from the highway as they’d connect that and the existing infrastructure.


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 Post subject: Re: Winston-Salem Dash
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2022 1:09 pm 
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I must disagree, courteously. W-S needs to advance to double A not a lower league, really.

I’m all for a 10,000-seat amphitheater but near Ramkat area - this is a baseball stadium.


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 Post subject: Re: Winston-Salem Dash
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:26 am
Posts: 611
Interesting discussion. I do agree the Dash is less appealing to me now with more other options (we were actually going to go to a Disco Turkeys game the other night but ended up backing out. We haven't been to a Dash game yet this year). Roar is a big competitor.

Agreed on needing an amphitheater. With us being a mid-sized city with an older population, I can see why demographically we have not been able to land one. And I'm not sure I would support the city funding one. I do wish Ziggy's would have opened somewhere in Winston, although the drive to HP takes 25 minutes, and is easier than driving from one end of Raleigh to PNC, for instance.


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 Post subject: Re: Winston-Salem Dash
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2022 8:52 pm 
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I was thinking a half-sized amphitheatre, which I've wanted for downtown for a long time. Looking for an example, I actually found one in an unexpected place. How did High Point get the Rockers baseball team? They were pushed-out of their home in Bridgeport, CT., so they could convert that space to an upscale/boutique amphitheatre! So, wow... we have an example. Bridgeport's 5,500 seat ballpark (the same as Winston-Salem's) was converted to a 5,700 seat amphitheatre, which is roughly the size Deacfan spoke of. I guess they can't convert it to anything larger, but that 5,700 seat venue is attracting the type of acts that would likely do well here and is big enough to attract out-of-town fans to fill hotel rooms and visit attractions and restaurants on a weekend trip. They spent around $30 million on the conversion. I'm guessing it would have to go to a bond vote and could be $33.5 million with the current issues facing construction, but maybe an outside developer would step-in and work with the city to place it back on the tax rolls, bring-in Live Nation, and fund at least part of that? It's also possible to not go as upscale as they did and save money on the roof and artist suite? Though they do have a point about the 45+ crowd not wanting to get wet during summer rain/storms and the summer heat issue. Also, I'm sure the nice suite would help attract artists and encourage them to return.

Winston-Salem has Wake Forest / ACC Baseball in a nice former minor league facility, so if you want to take the family to a game, I think they would be very interested in seeing local Wake Forest and maybe Duke, UNC, N.C. State at the ballpark. Those team loyalties are likely stronger than Dash, Grasshoppers, etc.,. The area is also over-saturated with minor league baseball, with three teams in two neighboring counties. I think a concert venue works better with a creative/arts city and it allows a greater focus on the Wake Forest/WSSU sports, Thunderbirds, and NASCAR at Bowman Gray.

Would like to see Mayor Joines push Bolt out the door and say get out you Phillie Phanatic reject! And it's a hyphen, not a dash! I would at least let Prim and friends sweat-out a study to see if Winston-Salem would benefit from converting the ballpark to an amphitheatre or minor league soccer stadium or attracting a baseball team not connected to MLB. I also think there was excitement over the new ballpark and maybe that has faded over the past decade. Now could be a time to look for something that can bring-in people from outside the Triad who may spend a night or two and visit other attractions. A common complaint about Winston-Salem is the area doesn't attract concerts and this would help to solve that issue. There is a venue to attract smaller acts and a venue that attracts one big name act when the management company's contract is up. This is the missing middle of live music for Winston-Salem. It would also help to replace the events lost from selling the LJVM.

If you want to know what this could look like?



$50 million yearly economic impact (maybe higher with inflation):






Baseball Stadium Converted into an Amphitheatre: https://venuesnow.com/hartford-healthcare-amphitheater/

Located between the state's two largest cities and in an arc of five of the nation's top-100 largest cities and five metro areas. It's attractive as a single stop and it's right at major highways connecting to those places and beyond (Boone/Wilkesboros and into Virginia). Yes, I would seriously like to see this and think it would have a bigger economic impact than minor league baseball. This isn't a locals leaving home, driving to the ballpark, eating at the ballpark, drinking at the ballpark, and going home type of venue. It's potentially a few hundred (maybe a thousand or more?) out-of-town people staying a night at a hotel and maybe visiting other attractions or a restaurant or two, before going to the show later that night, type of venue. I doubt the Dash bring many overnight stays or attract much outside money (money from outside the Triad) to the area.

It would be interesting to see if this could also attract non-apartment development to the remaining sites around the ballpark. It could be interesting to buy the boarded-up motel across the pedestrian bridge and construct a big parking deck on that site, so that more of the area around the ballpark can be developed for mixed-use projects. I'm sure an amphitheatre would make an on-site hotel more viable.

While I doubt Winston-Salem will ever do this, it does show what an amphitheatre could do for downtown, if someone built one.


Last edited by Fourth and Main on Fri Jun 24, 2022 9:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Winston-Salem Dash
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2022 9:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:00 am
Posts: 144
How much would a new construction amphitheater cost? I’d rather build a new one somewhere else downtown (Industry Hill?) and keep the baseball stadium.


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 Post subject: Re: Winston-Salem Dash
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2022 1:14 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:10 am
Posts: 2048
Quote:
I’d rather build a new one somewhere else downtown (Industry Hill?) and keep the baseball stadium.
This is what I meant when I posted keep the stadium and baseball and build the amphitheater near Ramkat.

I am amazed that there is any talk of removing/abandoning such an asset as the high class A team and this beautiful stadium (for baseball) that enhances downtown W-S - really, I am quite speechless.


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 Post subject: Re: Winston-Salem Dash
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2022 11:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:41 pm
Posts: 336
yadkinv wrote:
Quote:
I’d rather build a new one somewhere else downtown (Industry Hill?) and keep the baseball stadium.
This is what I meant when I posted keep the stadium and baseball and build the amphitheater near Ramkat.

I am amazed that there is any talk of removing/abandoning such an asset as the high class A team and this beautiful stadium (for baseball) that enhances downtown W-S - really, I am quite speechless.


Agreed. Attendance does seem to be down overall, but that's nothing that can't be fixed. I was there Saturday and there was a decent crowd, a great game, and an overall good atmosphere. The idea of making a drastic change to such an asset brings to mind babies and bath water.


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