I’m excited about the new ballpark in Winston-Salem. It’s been awhile since there’s been a new park available to me within a 2 hour drive, so I plan on making a number of trips up to see the Dash this year.
The Dash are doing a nice job of providing construction updates on their facebook page, and you can really start to see the park taking shape. The seat installation seems to be going well, and they’ve shown a nice, if generic, endcap on the aisles. The video board is going in, and you can see the orientation of the field.
Ah, the field. Something’s missing… Oh yes, the grass! I’m more than a little concerned about the grass. I asked the Dash why other new parks, like Target Field, and Tulsa, and Nationals Park a few years ago, put their grass in in November, but sod installation in Winston-Salem isn’t scheduled till March. Their staff was unconcerned, and felt that the 6 weeks they will have prior to the start of the season will give them plenty of time to get established.
A November installation gives the grass a full dormant season to really take root for the punishment a baseball season gives it. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a few turf malfunctions in April and May as this grass gets established. Should they have more issues once the summer heat stress kicks in, with brown patch or bare spots, that wouldn’t surprise me either.
The rich wood appointments of the clubhouse and luxury suites are starting to go in, and they look nice, but what we have yet to really see is any sense of personality. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do in both the public and private space to make it unique.
This piece of branding is always a tough balancing act. You can go overboard and quickly go from classy and understated to a sort of strip-club cheesy chic. For example, years ago, I had the pleasure of viewing a Carolina Panthers game from a gorgeous double suite in the end zone. In an effort to carry the blue black and silver team colors into everything they do, the Panthers chose one of the most garish carpet patterns I’ve ever seen, and it quickly took the suite from elegant to gentleman’s club.
Personality is coming, and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.