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Stadiums

I look forward to hearing the spin that the Winston Salem Mayor and City Manager put on city owned stadiums. I can imagine they will discuss effective marketing and levels of usage. However as someone that grew up in the triad I can say with some knowledge that Winston has never been comfortable living in the shadow of Greensboro and has suffered from Greensboro,s superior aggressive sports facility development. It was always felt that the leaders in Winston had the obligation to keep up with Greensboro. Bowman Gray was built primarily to serve the local White High Schools football and track programs and it was a very special treat to play there in the late fifties. In the later years Bowman became the home field for Winston Salem State football team and the running track was converted into the areas only flat paved auto race track. I remember taking my grandfather to the Sat. Night races. By this time the stadium was in very poor condition. The Joel was built to keep the Wake Forest Basketball program as Wake was demanding a better facility for ACC competion. Winston Salem leaders were sure that they would also be able to compete with Greensboro for additional event usage which after a couple of years they abandoned. Today the Joel is used primarily for Wake Basket Ball, the facility at today,s standards barely meets ACC needs as most schools have far superior arenas. The Joel is adjacent to the Wake football stadium and they share parking facilities. It make good sense for Wake to buy the Joel and I hope they will. The Greensboro Coliseum with its 22,000 seats hosts many major college events including the ACC Tournament on many occasions plus major entertainment shows. Winston Salem is very much aware that they can,t compete in there market and it make sense for them to offer these facilities to there major users.

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