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Tue March 25, 2014
Winston-Salem Dash to Get New Ownership, Lease Deal
The Winston-Salem Dash has new ownership and a potential new lease with the city.
The team announced Tuesday that the Chicago White Sox, the team’s Major League affiliate, will become majority owners of the team through a $7 million investment. The team is also working on a deal with Winston-Salem officials for a new 25-year lease for the city-owned BB&T Ballpark.
Lisa Saunders, the city’s chief financial officer, says it’s a good deal for both the city and the team.
Under terms of the new deal, which has not yet been approved, the city will refinance a $13 million short-term construction loan. The Dash would then make payments to the city over 25 years starting at $1.8 million annually. Saunders says no taxpayer money will be needed to subsidize the ballpark or debt payments.
Saunders says negotiations between the White Sox and the city began earlier this year. Geoff Lassiter, president of the Dash, says the White Sox purchase is part of a trend of major sports teams making investments in their affiliate clubs. But Lassiter says that although the White Sox are now majority investors, most of the decisions will remain with the local owners.
The deal is expected to go before a special meeting of the city council finance committee March 31. Opening Day for the Dash is April 3.