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White Sox seek ownership stake in Winston-Salem Dash

White Sox High-A affiliate

Geoff Lassiter, President of the Winston-Salem Dash, revealed in a letter to Dash fans that the White Sox are part of an ownership group seeking to purchase a 58% stake in the Dash franchise. Such an arrangement would suggest that the White Sox intend to forge a long-term relationship with their High-A affiliate that goes beyond the normal player development contract MLB teams have with minor league clubs.

The letter in pertinent part:

Based on the tremendous success of our team, an investment group that includes the Chicago White Sox has been proposed to become majority owner of the Winston-Salem Dash. The White Sox have seen the community's support for the Dash, and they are anxious to be an even greater part of Winston-Salem and the future success of the Dash.

The group's investment in the Dash is contingent upon obtaining a revised long-term lease on the ballpark, which is owned by the city. The city and the Winston-Salem Dash are in negotiations on a new 25-year lease on BB&T Ballpark that includes provisions to restructure the debt on the baseball stadium to better protect the city's investment.   No taxpayer funds will be needed to subsidize the ballpark because stadium lease payments to the City of Winston-Salem by the Dash cover all of the City's debt obligations on the ballpark.

Current management will continue to operate the Dash. The new arrangement also guarantees that Winston-Salem will have a Minor League Baseball team for the term of the lease, and it secures our team's long-term player development contract with the White Sox.

As we saw with the sale of the Bristol minor league club to the Pittsburgh Pirates, there are obviously ways to end an affiliation with a minor league club one owns. However, this deal would provide greater stability and certainty for both Winston-Salem and the Dash that minor league baseball - likely affiliated with the White Sox - will be in Winston-Salem for the next quarter century.