Meanwhile, down I-40

Two days after Greensboro voters reject a $5 million bond to fix up War Memorial Stadium, Winston-Salem addresses its own stadium issues.

The new stadium would definitely involve public money, according to the Journal:

What had last been discussed publicly in the summer as a $70 million project is now up to $170 million and would include a multiplex movie theater, offices, stores and residences.

City economic officials said yesterday that negotiations with the developer are entering their final phases, but two major questions remain: How much public money should be invested, and who would pay the city’s debt if the project does not attract the number of fans, customers, tenants – and revenue -that the city’s financial models show are needed?

OK, the project has increased $100 million in less than a year. With that in mind, you have to wonder what world Mayor Allen Joines is living in:

Although it has not been decided how much the city would contribute to the public-private project, a certain amount of public money would be spent on such costs as site preparation and construction of the proposed 5,500-seat stadium. At one point in the negotiations, the city’s estimated contribution was as high as $53.5 million, stretched over 24 years.

Joines cautioned against putting too much weight on that number;. It is bound to drop in the latest round of discussions, he said.

Really? WS residents should believe that when they see it. When you’re talking government and money, the figures almost never drop.

Of course, there’s concern for the grand old ballpark:

The question of what happens to Ernie Shore Stadium, where the Warthogs play, is being worked out, too. Joines said that negotiations are under way with Wake Forest University. Officials said previously that the university has tentatively offered about $5 million for the stadium, which is owned by the city. That money would help pay for the new stadium.

Does anybody find it interesting that WFU is willing to pay $5 million for Ernie Shore as is while Greensboro voters were contemplating $5 million just to fix up War Memorial?

Sam Hieb / Contributing Editor

Sam Hieb is freelance journalist from Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a contributing editor for Carolina Journal and for Piedmont Publius, a blog that focuses on political a...

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