Rumor Update

A couple of days ago I posted about some rumors I'd heard,
namely that the Winston-Salem downtown stadium project had come to a
halt and that Mike Mulhern, the Journal's NASCAR columnist had been let
go.  I heard directly from Mike that he had indeed been let go, which
is a bummer but it sounds like he's already working on his next act.

As for the stadium, I got an email yesterday from Jake at the Chamber
of Commerce and he'd checked it out and been told that the project was
still going to meet its deadline of being ready for the first pitch of
the 2009 season.  Then I saw in this morning's Journal that reporter Laura Graff had asked the mayor about it after the city's economic forum last night.  From the article:

Construction on the $22.6 million baseball stadium in downtown
Winston-Salem is being slowed but that should not affect the scheduled
April 2009 opening, officials said yesterday.

Mayor Allen Joines said in an interview after the city's economic
forum last night that the delay was caused by negotiations between two
of the Winston-Salem baseball team's owners, Billy Prim and Andrew
"Flip" Filipowski.

Joines said that Prim, who is also the chairman and chief executive
of Primo Water Corp., could buy out Filipowski, who is also the
chairman and chief executive of SilkRoad Technologies Inc. Earlier this
month, Filipowski's company laid off at least 12 employees…

"There have been some delays in the stadium's construction while we
work on restructuring of ownership of the team and stadium," said the
spokesman, Kevin Mortesen. "We anticipate finalizing that in the near
future and that everything will proceed to enable the team to play in
the new stadium for the '09 season."

Mortesen said in an e-mail that construction would continue during
the delay. He said that crews were at the stadium yesterday and will be
there today.

Now that the thing is started I really hope they get it done, but with
the ongoing financial mess and its unexpected, long reach into all
kinds of business sectors it's not a stretch to believe that this
project could eventually become a victim too.  I'm not implying that
the Prim folks are misleading us, rather I'm hoping that they don't get
blindsided like so many other institutions have been over the last few
months.  After all I seriously doubt the folks at Lehman Brothers saw their demise coming either.

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