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Winston-Salem's Tallest Buildings and Skyscrapers
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:51 am 
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Reports from this past summer say MLS plans to add 4 teams by 2020. Do you think the city is at a level to present a worthy bid for an expansion team? The Carolinas is seen once again as an ideal location. Orlando and I think NY are two front runners for new clubs which puts NC about halfway between the two.

Has this "newish" Winston-Salem reached or is approaching a level where pro sports would want to come here? Has the city changed much from 1999 when the first MLS stadium was proposed? Where would you propose the stadium now that Trade street is an Arts District and land in the IQ is spoken for?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:34 pm 
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Without a doubt, I think Winston-Salem should try again. This city was a front runner 11 years ago and almost had a team. I seem to remember Rochester was first and Winston-Salem was second that year on the list of MLS expansion cities. The only thing standing in their way was the lack of a stadium. At that time, Winston-Salem didn't even have a temporary place to play, but now Winston-Salem has a temporary place to play and a ready to go site to build a new stadium, along with experience in building a large sports venue! If Winston-Salem gains a major league team, it would dramatically transform this city and elevate it to almost the same level as Charlotte and Raleigh. When young people and sports fans see the state, instead of seeing only two cities here, they will see three, adding Winston-Salem to the list. Winston-Salem is about where Charlotte was in the 1980s, when leaders there wanted to grow that city with the NBA, but had to deal with national image issues, young people not knowing or caring about the city, and people saying it's not big enough. Winston-Salem is also where Raleigh was in the 1990s, when they had the same issues. Look at the impact major league sports had on those cities and their metro areas. It would impact everything from job creation to attracting more young professionals. It would make Winston-Salem major league and the center of the Triad. I think we should all write to Callahan about trying again. This time, we try as a city with three Fortune 500 headquarters, a massive youth soccer complex, and a city with the highly respected Wake Forest and Salem College soccer teams.

Where to place the stadium? Right now, that location is clustered with the ballpark. There are many options there and just as we've talked about a Theatre District, we should also discuss an urban Arena District in the West End Village. Of course I would also suggest using BB&T Ballpark as a temporary venue until a new stadium can be built, just as Kansas City did with their suburban minor league ballpark.

Can Winston-Salem support MLS? Yes, it's a team that would play almost all of its games on the weekend and in downtown, this can attract crowds from Charlotte and Raleigh to downtown. And maybe they will stop calling the area Greensboro and realize there is another city in the Triad. Charlotte's leadership has said they are at capacity for major league sports, so Cary (a suburb of Raleigh) is the major competitor. Winston-Salem can make a strong bid with MLS as the only major league sport (of the big five sports leagues) in the Triad. In Sprawleigh, they will play in a suburb and have to compete for attention, TV time, and sponsorship money with the NHL and maybe we can add ACC as well. In Winston-Salem, an MLS team would play in the heart of the city, be the only team in the entire market, and wouldn't complete for attention or money. Winston-Salem is also centrally located to attract fans from both Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham. The Triad is one of the largest markets in the nation without a major league team and the fan base that can drive to Winston-Salem to see weekend games in a league that plays on weekends is amazingly large. Again, this is a league that plays almost all weekend games and only plays 17 home games from March to December. Yes, Winston-Salem can support that and no, it won't have to compete with March Madness or the NHL in Winston-Salem, like it would in Raleigh-Durham-Cary. I would say Duke and Carolina would likely rank higher to most Cary (Raleigh-Durham) residents than an MLS team. In Winston-Salem, MLS would be the game to see and follow and with such a long season, it's best to play in a city where your league is the game.

Before I forget, this is a league that would play in a 15,000-20,000 seat stadium. About the size of Bowman Gray Stadium. In fact, if the city hadn't sold the 20,000 seat Bowman Gray Stadium, they could've upgraded it to MLS standards easily and saved money. And WSSU could've continued playing there too! Likely the racing as well. The Portland Timbers 20,000 seat stadium was built in 1926 as a football field and was upgraded for $36 million to MLS standards. I think BB&T Ballpark proved Winston-Salem can build a better stadium downtown though.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:20 pm 
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I think the largest markets without sports teams are Las Vegas, Austin, Hampton Roads and the Triad (West, South, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic) IMO, these are the four markets MLS should be at least studying. If they want to be the the hot ticket in town this is the way to go.

My dream is an innovative sports venue in the Innovation Quarter with a streetcar stop and view of historic tobacco buildings. Fourth&Main, Honestly I dont think anything can top your 5th and Main stadium rendering. I'm thinking of the revitalization potential along Main and how this could play off the Bailey Entertainment Center.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:15 am 
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I say go for it!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:57 pm 
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I'm guessing with the Triad and Hampton Roads, it's one or the other, but not both. The Triad is between D.C., and Atlanta and is close enough to Charlotte and Raleigh to be somewhat local to both for a league that plays on weekends; so you can have teams in Atlanta, Winston-Salem, and D.C., and fill-in the south. One of the reasons Las Vegas has trouble attracting sports teams is due to the gambling. Vegas is also a lower income city in an area where things cost more? I think Winston-Salem has a higher income? I could easily see Winston-Salem and Austin, along with maybe one other southern city and it wouldn't surprise me if that city was Atlanta. As for the 4th city? Not sure.

The West End Village area could make a really nice Arena District. It has a streetcar stop or maybe two, a party area, it's near downtown, and the facilities can share parking decks. The location for the rendering of the factory themed design was the area where Inmar's parking deck is proposed, bordering the railroad tracks (rails-to-trails) to the east of Inmar and 525@Vine. I'm not sure if that site is still available? I'm guessing the massive collection of land around the ballpark and West End Village is available for something big and can generate new development around it.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:07 am 
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I was reading Winston-Salem monthly, when I noticed someone talking about their teen years. This person spoke of what I've said many times. Major League teams have a big impact on how young people view cities.

Winston-Salem Monthly wrote:
As a teenager, Winston-Salem was just the place my parents worked. It had big buildings and big hospitals, but it didn’t seem to offer me much. Charlotte had the Panthers; the Triangle had the cool colleges [Winning college basketball teams on national TV?]; Greensboro had Emerald Pointe; and Winston-Salem had … a big mall? A big coffee pot???


The person goes on to describe how they discovered how awesome Winston-Salem is later in their life. http://www.journalnow.com/winstonsalemm ... f6878.html

I remember knowing every city that had major league teams, when I was a teen. It would really help this city in becoming a more attractive place for young people and changing this city's image. It instantly places Winston-Salem at the same level as other noteworthy cities. It gives the city something big to rally around. And over time, people who love Winston-Salem for its MLS team will learn more about the city and love it for many reasons. It's also a way to gain the attention of employers in employment fields this city would love to have.

This week, I've watched as Wake Forest University's new business college building was labeled as being in Wake Forest, N.C., and I can't help but notice this is one of the most disrespected cities and most overlooked. I believe MLS is a must for Winston-Salem. An MLS team would bring that national spotlight to Winston-Salem, instead of Winston-Salem trying everything possible to be seen and at least somewhat recognized for what it has and the exciting things it is doing.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:24 am 
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I agree, but it seems GSO is the one making a serious bid for the MLS expansion not W-S - so, what's new.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:43 am 
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GSO is going for amateur league. A lot of those teams play in high school stadiums. Winston should go pro or at least make another attempt.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:06 am 
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Fourth and Main wrote:
This week, I've watched as Wake Forest University's new business college building was labeled as being in Wake Forest, N.C., and I can't help but notice this is one of the most disrespected cities and most overlooked.


What media reports were datelining Farrell Hall as being in Wake Forest, NC? I would like to know the source of that reporting. That group out of GSO would probably play in McPherson (spl?) Stadium in Bryan Park, but the article I read (N&R?) indicated that their goal was to build a stadium downtown in around 5 years...


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:29 am 
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That's the article to which I was referring.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:26 am 
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I was looking for an answer to the dateline Wake Forest, NC referring to Farrell Hall.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:25 pm 
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I found this earlier today and thought I would share it. It was originally from a local article and it's good to see the story covered nationally in a publication like this!

http://soccerstadiumdigest.com/2014/05/ ... r-city-usa

Soccer Stadium Digest wrote:
North Carolina is a good area for soccer, and arguably Winston-Salem is the biggest soccer hotbed in the state. The Twin City Youth Soccer Association has over 3,000 boys and girls playing in 300 teams, with activity centered at BB&T Soccer Park, which features 13 playing fields (nine lit) and a a 5,800 square-foot fieldhouse.

Leading the way: the Wake Forest University soccer team, playing out of Spry Stadium. A soccer powerhouse, both the Wake Forest men’s and women’s teams are perpetual contender in the ACC soccer races, and the women’s team reached the College Cup in 2011. The Demon Deacons have won the ACC regular season title four times since 2002 and also won the 2007 National Championship. Along the way, the program has helped develop approximately 30 professional players.


I didn't see Salem College in any of these articles? Salem College also fields great soccer teams!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:02 am 
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Not much of a soccer fan here, but I say go for it. As long as the stadium is downtown & alternative uses can be figured out during the offseason (big concert festival?).


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