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Sod laid at new Dash ballpark

Work progresses on the new Winston-Salem ballpark, with sod laid this week in anticipation of a April 13 opener.

It's always a little unnerving to predict success on a project that's seen so many problems and setbacks, but the laying of sod at BB&T Ballpark, the new home of the Winston-Salem Dash (High Class A; Carolina League), is a solid sign the ballpark will indeed be ready for an April 13 opening.

True, there's been little indication that the ballpark wouldn't open on time since the city took over ownership; construction has been a relatively smooth process, according to folks close to the project. And while the area around the ballpark will still be a little rough around the edges, the actual ballpark itself is in decent shape.

This week sees the installation of Bermuda turf, one of those final steps that will manage to transform the entire look of the place. The team has moved into its offices, and other ballpark work is happening.

But the Dash face a pretty steep challenge for 2010. Opening a year late and under some bad circumstances certainly has generated some apprehension in the local community; Opening Day is not sold out, as the Dash choose to tie that night solely to season-ticket sales. (We're guessing that will change by April 5 or so.) Right now the Dash could use the positive press generated by a ballpark opening as a needed shot in the arm.

RELATED STORIES: New for 2010: BB&T Ballpark; Full work crews in force at Dash ballpark; How will Winston-Salem Dash ever turn a profit?; Winston-Salem to buy unfinished Dash ballpark; Ballpark oversight committee forming in Winston-Salem; Winston-Salem will fund ballpark completion; Prim can't raise $$$ to finish Dash ballpark; wants city bailout; How can Dash pick up the pieces for 2010?; Dash confirms no games at new ballpark this season; New Winston-Salem ballpark unlikely to open this seasonDash to play at Ernie Shore Field through June 17 — at least; Dash announces new mascot; still working on new ballpark; Prim seeks $6 million in outside financing to complete ballparkWill new Winston-Salem ballpark open on time?; Prim sought additional city financing for new W-S ballparkMore details released on Winston-Salem ballpark upgradesPrim: New Winston-Salem ballpark may not open in April;  New for 2009: The Winston-Salem Dash; New Winston-Salem ballpark opening may be delayed

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