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In an interesting news post by WFMY News’ Mac Ingraham the author makes two very interesting statements I want to highlight. First off the article author mentions the $12 million the city handed over to Prim and Filipowski., the owners of Sports Menagerie Corp and Developers of the stadium but fails to mention the added $16 Million they have requested of the city. Second the author says that if the stadium isn’t built the city gets it’s money back however the deal is to repay the city by way of ticket sales and if there is no stadium then there are no ticket sales so who does the City think they will collect the owed money from? The actual agreement was for a $1 a ticket surcharge resulting in $350,000 repayment in the first year. The interesting part of this agreement though is that if the team does not play in the new stadium they don’t have to pay!

For some background let’s go back over the key points that have taken place over the past year. First off the Developers of the stadium are Sports Menagerie Corp co-owned by Billy Prim and Andrew Filipowski. From reports posted in the local media it is my understanding that the City/County agreed to forward some $12 million to the development of the stadium to be repaid over 25 years. Sometime around November of 2008 Andrew Filipowski was in talks with Prim to be bought out. Reports show that Filipowski has had loans called due of $4 million from Southern Community Bank while BB&T called a $4 million line of credit and per The Journal J.P. Morgan filed suit for Filipowski’s failure to repay $7 million due in May of 2008. Filipowski made his billions from the sale of Platinum Technology back in 1999 but then lost at least a reported $1 billion when his follow-up company, Divine, Inc filed for bankruptcy in 2003. After that came Blue Rhino and Silk Road with the latter laying off workers in recent months.

Work started slowing down as far back as November of 2008 while it has been completely stopped for some time now. Prim himself said at the stadium unveiling that the completion of the stadium would “depend on the successful execution of his buyout agreement with Filipowski“ and went on to say it would happen and the stadium would be completed. Of course this brings up the plans for the $22 million dollar stadium to be “upgraded” to a larger project costing over $38 million and where the extra $16 million will come from. That project includes development of a downtown business and condominium center, street improvements and more. There’s a post at the local John Locke Triad website which points to some interesting movement of monies by the city for street improvements which may have in fact been routed to Prim.

So as you all paid higher property taxes this year and the city asked the state to allow for another .5 cent sales tax increase let’s all remember the millions the City and County have handed out to an unfinished Ballpark not to mention Dell who at least count may only employ some 500 people of the nearly two thousand they agreed to employ by the fall of 2010.


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One Response to “Baseball Stadium On Hold”
  1. JamesB says:

    As a Follow up on this post I have found some other information. I cannot confirm any of the below so if you have any detail, facts, links, etc to prove or disprove please let me know or post your own comment.

    1. Co-owner Billy Prim is pushing around an investment option looking for somebody willing to drop $6 million to become a partner.
    2. The City of Winston-Salem will owe $350,000.00 in debt service on the $12 million they dumped into Mud Bowl, I mean Baseball Park.
    3. The “Dash” which should be playing at the new park are instead playing at the former Ernie Shore Field which is now owned by Wake Forest is losing cash daily from lack of attendance and marginal concession sales due to no license to sell anything other than soda, in other words no Beer sales.

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