Fans of the Atlanta Braves found little to cheer about this spring, as one player after another from the 2014 squad was traded away including star closer Craig Kimbrel, catcher Evan Gattis and once-highly regarded recruits Jason Heyward and Melvin Upton Jr. ESPN blogger David Schoenfield went so far as to speculate the Braves might be one of the worst teams in 2015.
Ever contrary, the Braves proceeded to sweep the Florida Marlins in their first series of the season, so maybe they’re not waiting on 2017 and their new stadium to play good baseball.
As for the new stadium, SunTrust Park construction proceeds apace, according to American Builders 2017, the joint venture among Brasfield & Gorrie, Mortenson Construction, Barton Malow Co. and New South Construction Co. SunTrust Park will be a mixed-used development open in time for the first pitch of the 2017 season, a short distance from downtown Atlanta near the northwest intersection of I-75 and I-285 in Cobb County.
Thus far, they’ve:
- hauled off 50, 000 truckloads of material, including dirt and rock.
- moved a total of 850, 000 cubic yards of material, including hauled-off and on-site material.
- blasted 155, 000 cubic yards of rock.
- crushed 170, 000 tons of rock.
The Braves say their new location will give them the opportunity to develop the surrounding area of SunTrust Park, transforming it into a mixed use, 365-day destination and creating an enhanced atmosphere for fans during Braves games. There also will be significantly increased access to the site, enhanced parking opportunities, and, generally, easier access to and from major roadways with a variety of other transportation options.
American Builders’ ballpark experience includes Target Field, Coors Field, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Turner Field, Minute Maid Park, PNC Park and Coolray Field.
Text by Dave Helms