WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.– As Winston-Salem leaders begin to look at next year’s budget, one thing is clear: The city wants to sell Bowman Gray Stadium and the LJVM Coliseum and, Wake Forest University and Winston-Salem State say they are ready to buy.
City Manager Lee Garrity says thanks to basic repairs, up keep, debt and other operating costs selling the two facilities would save the city more than $30 million over the next 20 years.
“It’s kind of a win, win still have facilities for the community taxpayers save $30 million. It’s really about the financial picture,” Garrity says.
Wake Forest University’s Board of Trustees has approved the purchase pending negotiations. The city is asking $8 million for the coliseum.
Wake Forest says it would make repairs, renovate the coliseum, upgrade seating, sound, technology, HVAC systems and add new suites and club level seating. Wake Forest says it plans to keep the Joel name prominent and does not plan to remove the veteran’s memorials.
The city is asking $7 million for Bowman Gray.
Winston-Salem State must seek legislative approval for Bowman Gray, but says it would like to purchase the stadium and the surrounding 94 acres. The university would include the land in its master plan and add other facilities like baseball and softball fields along with parking.
WSSU says it plans to honor a long-term lease for short track racing.
The city’s finance committee said it would like to complete the details of a deal for both properties by the end of May, so it won’t have to include them in the upcoming budget year. In just the first year, the city will save $1.5 million.