Baseball Reflections

A Review of BB&T Ballpark Home of the Winston-Salem Dash

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If one thing is for sure in Winston Salem, it’s that the people in that area love their baseball team. Attending a Saturday night game for the Winston Salem Dash, the Class A Affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, is akin to being present at a very popular regular season series in the Major Leagues. With two months to go until the game, the only tickets available online were the suite tickets for $68 a pop (virtually unheard of in the Minor League Baseball world for an individual ticket), or lawn seats for $7.

The lawn seats were located down the left field line and provided a spectacular view of the ballpark. They also provide endless entertainment for children throughout the game. Even though rolling down the hill on the lawn seats is not allowed, running on them is, which means parents can be sure their children will be occupied during the game without having to pay much extra.

All of the parking immediately around the stadium was taken, but there were a number of lots to choose from. The lack of security immediately available in these lots was surprising due to the fact that many of them were in somewhat remote locations downtown. Even so, parking within a decent walk of the stadium could be found for just $3.

Winston Salem’s stadium is one of the very few where the press box and scoreboard operators are on the same level as the main concourse. Equipped with large windows, fans can peer into the in-game activities of the team and media personnel as they do their jobs in real time. To some already serious baseball fan kids, this is an extremely awesome experience.

Also on the main concourse, fans will find profiles of the best players in the history of the Carolina League. Some of the names fans can expect to read about include Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome, Barry Bonds and Wade Boggs. These profiles are complete with the player’s accomplishments both during their time in the Carolina League as well as in the Major Leagues.

Perhaps the main disappointment with the stadium is the team shop. While the personnel in the store were extremely nice, the selection was not. Much of the memorabilia seemed to be geared towards, whether purposefully or not, senior citizens, and while there certainly is a market for that, one would think there should be a space for more items geared towards other demographics as well.

The food selection at BB&T Ballpark was certainly above most other parks at the A level. Not only were there the typical food selections such as hotdogs and nachos, but other options as well. While fresh squeezed lemonade doesn’t sound like a rarity, it isn’t found very often in ballparks. Their presentation and taste of this beverage was excellent.

This baseball experience was clearly great for families as they brought more kids onto the field than most ballparks during the game, avoiding the temptation to go for the dumb jock entertainment option. They even had a toddler race which the fans loved and was adorable to say the least.

The stadium also had televisions around the concourse, just as most Major League ballparks do so fans are sure they aren’t going to miss a single moment of the game, or the between inning entertainment.

Overall, this was a great Minor League ballpark with very strong presentation and a wonderful baseball atmosphere. While it is not clear how well the fans know the current members of the team, it is clear that they enjoy going down to the ballpark and watching the Dash.

Minor League Stadium Rating: 4.25/4

Overall Stadium Rating: 4/5


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