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New Winston-Salem ballpark opening may be delayed

Work on a new ballpark for the Winston-Salem Warthogs slows down dramatically as ownership changes are negotiated.
Work on a new ballpark for the Winston-Salem Warthogs (High Class A; Carolina League) is slowing down dramatically as ownership changes are negotiated, and the team is making contingency plans should the facility not be completed for an April opening.

Details are scarce, but Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines says he was told the slowdown was due to negotiations between Billy Prim and Andrew "Flip" Filipowski over their stakes in the team. In addition, we’ve been told Mandalay Baseball Properties, which runs the team under a management deal, is negotiating for a stake in the team as well.

Kevin Mortesen, the Mandalay employee working as a spokesman for the team, confirmed the slowdown in an interview with the Winston-Salem Journal:

"You always think about contingencies, but I’m not going to get in to that," Mortesen said. "Anyone you talk to about any sort of construction project, particularly something of this magnitude, anyone would tell you that if you don’t have a contingency plan you are not planning properly."

It’s not clear exactly what sort of contingency plan is being considered. The team has no ties to Ernie Shore Field — it was sold at the end of the 2008 season to Wake Forest — and Wake Forest officials say no team official has approached the university about any move of games to Ernie Shore Field or the former university ballpark, Hooks Stadium. It’s possible the team could try to shift some home series to road games, but Carolina League president John Hopkins says no one has run anything by him.