From Kevin Terry, President, Winston-Salem DASH.
First let me thank you for your continued support of the Winston-Salem DASH and our new stadium. The road to a new home for our team has taken a number of unexpected turns, many of which were out of our control. But with your continued support, the continued involvement of our investors and the support of the City of Winston-Salem we are going to be able to complete very soon what is destined to become Winston-Salemâ€™s premier family sports entertainment venue.
Here is an update on our progress:
To say the least, this has been a very intricate process to coordinate loans with several banks, secure private financing and develop a financial partnership with the City of Winston-Salem. All of these have to be negotiated and coordinated to close at the same time.
As you know the City agreed to invest an additional $12.7 million to purchase the land under the stadium and close the financing gap necessary to complete the stadium. The City has been meeting with several banks to secure the most favorable rate possible and have reached an agreement with First Tennessee Bank.
The financing agreements between the developer and a banking consortium lead by Bank of America for the stadium as well as an additional loan agreement with Regions Bank also are in process.
One of the loan conditions approved by the City at its June meeting had to do with the availability of parking. Several alternative parking options have been worked out to address this condition.
Additionally, it is being proposed for the City to assume ownership of the stadium immediately rather than in 25 years as specified in the original agreement. The City will lease the stadium back to the developer for the original 25-year-term with the developer responsible for all maintenance and improvements. The developer will also continue to pay property taxes on the stadium.
Now the big question. When will construction resume?
The City Council is scheduled to meet on Monday to finalize their loan from First Tennessee. If there are no additional complications, all City documents should be signed by the first week in August. Upon the completion of the developerâ€™s financing agreements, construction could resume by the end of August.
We can literally say that construction crews are standing by to get back on the job as quickly as possible.
As primary stakeholders in the success of the new stadium, we wanted you to have as much information as we have right now. Should anything change, we will update you immediately.
Also I want to update you on our sponsor and ticket sales progress. Today we have firm commitments on 13 of our 14 suites and 15 out of 17 of our available sponsorships. Our Founders Club Level is 100 percent sold out (we have started a waiting list) and over 4,000 season ticket packages have been sold in our lower bowl, which is about half our lower bowl seating. We will begin marketing our group tickets in October but already have a number of commitments for 2010.
Thank you for your patience and most of all for your continued belief that this stadium will become the jewel of Winston-Salem, the premier business opportunity for our sponsors and the most exciting entertainment venue in our community.
President, Winston-Salem DASH