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  • Writer's picturePaul Baker

Truist Stadium – Winston-Salem Dash

Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00

Truist Stadium 951 Ballpark Way Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Year Opened: 2010 Capacity: 5,500


Twin City Baseball: A Century-Long Dash To Success

Minor League baseball has been played in Winston-Salem in various forms since 1905. The franchise that is now the Dash began play in the Carolina League in 1945. While it has been affiliated with several teams over its history, the Dash have enjoyed a stable relationship with the Chicago White Sox since 1997. The team has sported many nicknames over the years, including the Twins, Cardinals, Red Birds, Red Sox, Spirits and Warthogs. The team was rebranded as the Dash in 2009. The name “Dash” refers to the city of Winston-Salem’s nickname, “The Dash.” Please disregard the fact that the dash is actually a hyphen.

The club originally played at South Side Park. That ballpark burned down and was replaced with Ernie Shore Field near Wake Forest University. Ernie Shore Field served as home field for Winston-Salem teams from 1956-2009, when the team moved into the new BB&T Ballpark. The new ballpark was originally planned to open for the 2009 season, but various delays pushed the opening back an entire year. When BB&T and SunTrust Banks merged to form Truist in 2019, the ballpark’s name was changed to Truist Stadium.

Food & Beverage 5

For the most part, the concession stands at Truist Stadium offer the same menu of hot dogs, burgers, chicken tenders and nachos that you’ll find at every ballpark. Domino’s pizza operates a stand on the first base side of the stadium. Chick-fil-A sandwiches are sold on selected game days. But the main stands are not where the action is.

The Sausage Works stand offers several different varieties of sausage, including the Texas Pete (infused with cayenne hot sauce), the Holy Smoke (a beef/pork mixture) and the Cheeseapeno (pretty self-explanatory). Also available here are hot dogs with a variety of toppings, including nacho cheese and pulled pork. The South of Downtown stand on the third base side of the ballpark offers Tex-Mex cuisine.

The most popular item at Truist Stadium is undoubtedly the Cheesy Pig Dog. Found at the Big Dog stand, it’s topped with mac & cheese, pulled pork and cheddar cheese. The Cheesy Pig Dog has become so iconic that the team store sells t-shirts honoring the tasty treat.

Pepsi products are featured at Truist Stadium. Fans looking for adult beverages will find a wide variety of national brands plus several craft brews from local favorite Foothills Brewery. Childress Vineyards sells their fine wines here. For something a little different Stadium Journey recommends checking out the lemonade stand, where many different flavors of the thirst quencher are prepared to order in both adult or non-alcoholic versions.

Atmosphere 3

The atmosphere at Truist Stadium is pretty standard for minor league baseball. Big crowds are likely on Friday and Saturday games. The left field patio is the place to be, as bands play pre or post game, there’s a bar here (with an accompanying hilariously placed port-a-john), and plenty of room to mingle.

The team’s mascot, Bolt, is entertaining and the team engages fans with between inning t-shirt tosses and other contests and games. There’s a large video board in right-center field that is put to good use throughout the game with graphics, stats and more. The ballpark is open and airy, with plenty of room to move about, different vantagepoints from which to take in the action and a nice view of downtown.

Neighborhood 4

Truist Stadium is located on the edge of downtown Winston-Salem. While there are not many dining, entertainment or lodging choices right next door to the ballpark, the downtown area offers a great variety of choices.

Among the many places to eat in the downtown area is Dash sponsor Foothills Brewery. One of the largest breweries in the southeast, their impressive menu of food and craft brews make this a great pre- or postgame spot.

Visiting fans looking for things to do in Camel City may wish to check out the Old Salem Museum and Gardens, which is a nearly perfectly restored Moravian Village from the 1700s. Other local choices include the Reynolda Museum of American Art and gardens and the Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem and Sciworks museum.

Lodging options near Truist Stadium include The Hawthorne Inn and Conference Center, Hotel Indigo Downtown, and for those who prefer to stay away from the chains, the Historic Brookstown Inn located about a mile to the east next to Old Salem. It was established in 1837 and prides itself as “A Living Museum of History Art and Treasure in Winston-Salem, NC.”

Fans 5

During their time in the Carolina League, the Dash regularly ranked at or near the top of the league’s attendance standings. Now that they are in the newly reorganized High A East League’s south division alongside regional rivals Greensboro, Hickory and Asheville, those numbers may even go up.

The crowd you’ll find at a Dash game are typical of what you’ll find throughout the minor leagues, with a mix of hardcore fans and families looking for some affordable entertainment. Southern hospitality is in full effect here at Truist Stadium, both from the staff and fellow fans.

Access 4

Truist Stadium is located right off of Route 421, not far from Interstate 40, Wake Forest University and downtown Winston-Salem. With large parking lots located adjacent to the ballpark entrance, a walkable concourse and a prime location, you would think Truist Stadium would rate a perfect score. But wait, there’s a blemish here.

On most days parking at Truist Stadium is not an issue. However, when there’s a large crowd in attendance (think Thursday-Saturday games) the lots right near the ballpark fill up quickly. If you get shut out of these lots, you must search the downtown area for garages and lots scattered around the downtown area. The team does offer a shuttle van to and from these spots, but it sounds rather inconvenient. Your best bet is to use the Pay by Phone app to reserve your spot close to the ballpark in advance. Details about parking and the Downtown Dash Shuttle can be found here.

Most fans will enter Truist Stadium via the entrance plaza in center field. Located in this plaza are the ticket booth and the iconic “Home Run” statue, depicting three young fans competing for a long ball. Once through the gates fans will enter onto a wide 360-degree concourse. The team store will be immediately on your left in a dedicated building, and to your right will be the Foothills Brewery Outfield Bar.

The seating bowl stretches from shallow left field around to shallow right field. The ballpark is standard early-2000s design, with the field visible from most spots on the concourse and a level of luxury boxes raised above the concourse. There is a berm and party deck in left field and a bridge in right field, which gives the ballpark some interesting angles. The party deck behind the left field berm features a party deck with bands playing on selected days and most importantly, a mister for those hot North Carolina summer nights.

Return on Investment 3

Tickets for Dash games are priced at $17 for most seats, with a $13 charge to sit on the home run deck and $9 for berm seating. Purchasing on the day of the game adds an additional dollar to all prices.

Parking is $10 for the onsite lots, $5 in offsite lots and free in the Center City Garage on Fourth Street on Thursday-Saturday. The shuttle from the garage to the ballpark is free of charge.

Concessions, while not inexpensive, are in line with other minor league venues in the area.

Extras 4

An extra point is awarded for the history of Winston-Salem baseball, which shows uniforms from various city teams throughout the decades.

Photo by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey

Notable players to have played in Winston-Salem are honored in displays throughout the concourse. Among the players to stop in Camel City are Carl Yastrzemski, Barry Bonds and Albert Pujols.

Since it was well over 90 degrees during Stadium Journey’s visit, I am tempted to award an extra point solely for the mister in the left field party area. But instead we’ll award the point for the entire area, with bandstand, artwork and bar. It’s a fun space from which to catch the game.

A final extra point is awarded for the fact that you can pick up Warthogs gear in the team store.

Final Thoughts

North Carolina is a state which contains no shortage of minor league ballparks, some of which are undoubtedly among the best in the country. While Truist Stadium is not as new and shiny as some of the other ballparks in the state, it remains a fantastic place to take in a ballgame and should absolutely be on your to-do list should you find yourself in the Tar Heel State.

Follow Paul Baker’s stadium journeys on Twitter and Instagram @PuckmanRI.

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